You might think that daylight saving time was conceived to give farmers an extra hour of sunlight to till their fields, but this is a common misconception. In fact, farmers have long been opposed to springing forward and falling back, since it throws off their usual harvesting schedule.
The first real experiments with daylight saving time began during World War I. On April 30, 1916, Germany and Austria implemented a one-hour clock shift as a way of conserving electricity needed for the war effort. The United Kingdom and several other European nations adopted daylight saving shortly thereafter, and the United States followed suit in 1918.
8 Things you may not know about daylight saving time
- It’s “daylight saving time,” not “daylight savings time.”
- Though in favor of maximizing daylight waking hours, Benjamin Franklin did not originate the idea of moving clocks forward.
- Englishman William Willett led the first campaign to implement daylight saving time.
- Germany was the first country to enact daylight saving time.
- Daylight saving time in the United States was not intended to benefit farmers, as many people think.
- For decades, daylight saving in the United States was a confounding patchwork of local practices.
- Not everyone in the United States springs forward and falls back.
Hawaii and Arizona—with the exception of the state’s Navajo Nation—do not observe daylight saving time, and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands also remain on standard time year-round.
- Evidence does not conclusively point to energy conservation as a result of daylight saving.