Daylight saving time ends this weekend, but where did this idea come from?

Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 5:29 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 2, 2022 at 6:33 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - As a new month begins, daylight saving time will soon end.

Some like the extra hour of sleep, but others aren’t fans of the darkness.

So where did this crazy idea of shifting time come from?


History of Daylight Saving Time
History of Daylight Saving Time(WMBF)

Benjamin Franklin gets some credit for the idea of daylight saving time, even though the idea came from a joke he sent in a letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris. Franklin jokingly recommended people to get out of bed earlier in the morning to minimize the use of candles and oil lamps. But he never mentioned setting the clocks back and forth.

That idea came from George Hudson in 1895. Hudson was an entomologist in New Zealand, which is someone who studies bugs. He suggested a shift in the clocks by two hours so he would have more after-work hours for bug hunting. But it was never used.

The first real use came during wartime. In 1916, during World War I, the German Empire set all clocks back an hour to use less power and to save fuel for the war effort. Many countries followed suit.

History of Daylight Saving Time
History of Daylight Saving Time(Source: WMBF News)

The United States adopted this idea in 1918 but it only lasted for seven months until the bill was repealed. The US has had a back-and-forth relationship with daylight saving time.

In 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt re-established the idea of daylight saving time, but he called it War Time. War Time lasted from 1942 to 1945.

Twenty-one years later, daylight saving time was reintroduced. The Uniform Act of 1966 established the idea of daylight saving time that would be from the last Sunday of April to the last Sunday of October

History of Daylight Saving Time
History of Daylight Saving Time(WMBF)

That idea wasn’t set in stone until 1973. During that time, there was an oil embargo in the U.S. and Congress ordered a year-round daylight saving time to conserve energy. That period ran from January 1974 to April 1975. But the plan did little to save energy and in October 1974, the U.S. switched back to standard time.

From 1987 through 2006, daylight saving time started the first weekend in April and went through the last weekend in October.

In 2007, the start and end of daylight saving time shifted again to the second Sunday in March. It ends on the first Sunday in November

Recently there has been a push for daylight saving time permanently. Earlier this year, the Senate passed a bill that would make daylight saving time permanent. The bill still has to get approved by the House of Representatives.