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History of Daylight Savings Time

Posted on Blog March 31, 2016

While we all had to “spring forward” and alter our clocks to an hour ahead, many of us do not know what the significance of this is. Below, find out about the significance of Daylight Saving Time and why America still follows it.

First introduced in 1908 in Thunder Bay, Canada, Daylight Saving Time (DST) was implemented to make use of the maximum amount of sunlight that’s available during the day. By delaying sunrise and sunset by an hour there will be more sunlight during the day and energy is saved.

The first country to make use of DST was Germany in April 1916 so that fuel can be saved on artificial lighting during World War 1. A list of other countries also made use of that idea shortly afterwards, which included the UK, France and other European countries.

In the US DST, or “Fast Time” as it was called then, was introduced when President Woodrow Wilson signed a law in support of it in 1918. The idea came into being from a Pittsburgh industrialist, Robert Garland, who ran into it in the UK. Nowadays he is known as the “Father of Daylight Saving”. Shortly afterwards DST was recalled, and only reemerged when President Franklin D. Roosevelt put it back into place in 1942.

Today DST is made use of in 70 countries around the world by over a billion people. Different countries will have different specific dates for DST. However, the European Union has standardized it so that it runs to the last Sunday of October from the last Sunday of March.

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