Yesterday, Sunday, March 9, at 2:00 a.m. was the beginning of Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. Like many other countries, Daylight Saving is used to save energy (electricity, fuel) by adjusting (changing) the hours of the day to better match the hours when the sun is out. One way Americans know whether to turn the clocks ahead or set them back is to remember: We “spring” ahead in the spring, and we “fall” back in the fall. “Spring” is not just a season; it also means to jump. “Fall” isn’t just a season; it also means to move backwards. This is a very useful way for many people, including me, to remember.
In the U.S., Daylight Saving Time began during World War I. Since there are later hours of daylight between April and October, it made sense to take advantage of (to use for the best results) that daylight for war production (making things useful for the war). The same thing happened during World War II. The federal government again required the states to observe (to obey) Daylight Saving Time to save energy. After World War II, each states decided whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act which standardized (make the same) the length of Daylight Saving Time.
However, not all states observe Daylight Saving Time. Arizona (except some Native American Reservations) and Hawaii are the two states that do not. (Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa also do not observe Daylight Saving Time.) This decision does make sense (have good reason) for the states and areas closer to the equator (the horizontal (side to side) line in the middle of the globe/Earth). The daylight hours there stay more consistent (the same) throughout the year.
Growing up in Arizona, it didn’t seem strange to me that half of the year, I shared the same time with family and friends in other states, and half of the year, I was an hour ahead or behind. In fact, to this day, I still find Daylight Saving Time strange. The worst parts? Losing an hour of sleep in the spring and changing all of the clocks around the house!