The concept of daylight-saving time (DST)
Crew Members who fly internationally are bound to be subjected to Daylight Saving Time. The article below will provide you with the history of DST.
Daylight Saving Time (or summertime as it is called in many countries) is a way of getting more light, out of the day by advancing clocks by one hour during the summer. During Daylight Saving Time, the sun appears to rise one hour later in the morning, when people are usually asleep anyway, and sets one hour later in the evening, seeming to stretch the day longer.
The Invention of DST
The invention of DST was mainly credited to William Willett in 1905 when he came up with the idea of moving the clocks forward in the summer to take advantage of the daylight in the mornings and the lighter evenings. His proposal suggested moving the clocks 20 minutes forward each of four Sundays in April and switching them back by the same amount on four Sundays in September.
Willett’s daylight-saving plan caught the attention of Robert Pearce who introduced a bill to the House of Commons in February 1908. The first Daylight Saving Bill was drafted in 1909 and presented to Parliament several times and examined by a select committee. However, the bill was opposed by many, especially farmers and thus the bill was never made into a law. Willett died in 1915 without getting the chance to see his idea come to life.
The Start of Daylight Saving
DST was first adopted to replace artificial lighting so they could save fuel for the war effort in Germany during World War I at 11:00pm (23:00) on April 30, 1916. It was quickly followed by Britain and many countries from both sides, including the United States. Many countries reverted back to standard time post-World War I, and it wasn’t until the next World War that DST would make its return to many countries in order to save vital energy resources for the war.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted year-round DST in the United States, called “War Time” during World War II from February 9, 1942 to September 30, 1945. The law was enforced 40 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbour and during this time, time zones were called “Eastern War Time”, “Central War Time”, and “Pacific War Time”. After the surrender of Japan in mid-August 1945, the time zones were re-labelled “Peace Time”.
Daylight saving was first recognized as an energy saving aspect during World War II when Double Summer Time was applied in Britain which moved the clocks two hours ahead of GMT during the summer and one hour ahead of GMT during the winter.
When Do the Clocks Change?
Daylight saving time begins in the northern hemisphere between March – April and ends between September – November. Standard time begins in the northern hemisphere between September – November and ends between March – April. Many countries in the northern hemisphere may observe DST.
Daylight saving time begins in the southern hemisphere between September – November and ends between March – April. Standard time begins in the southern hemisphere between March – April and ends between September – November. Many countries in the southern hemisphere may observe DST.
Why Observe DST?
Many countries observe DST, and many do not. The reason many countries implement DST is in hopes to make better use of the daylight in the evenings, as well as some believe that it could be linked to reducing the amount of road accidents and injuries. The extra hour of daylight in the evening is said to give children more social time with friends and family and can even boost the tourism industry because it increases the amount of outdoor activities.
DST is also considered as a means to save energy due to less artificial light needed during the evening hours—clocks are set one hour ahead during the spring, and one hour back to standard time in the autumn. However, many studies disagree about the energy savings of DST and while some may show a positive outcome of the energy savings, others do not.
It is difficult to predict what will happen with Daylight Saving Time in the future. The daylight-saving date in many countries may change from time to time due to special events or conditions. The United States, Canada and some other countries extended DST in 2007. The new start date is the second Sunday in March (previously the first Sunday in April) through to the first Sunday in November (previously the last Sunday in October).