Spring forward to Daylight saving time

For most of the United States, this weekend sees the return of clock confusion—and heated debate. Remember, spring forward and fall back.

On Sunday, at 2 a.m., you’ll lose an hour of sleep because daylight saving time has crept up onto us once more but the good news is, nobody cares if you lose an hour of sleep on Sunday unless you have to wake up early to go to your place of worship. 

Many Americans will spring forward an hour to mark the beginning of daylight savings time (DST)—also known as daylight saving time—at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 11. Time will fall back to standard time again on Sunday, November 4, when DST ends.

The annual adventure in altered timekeeping has produced some entertaining and exasperating situations over the past century.

the federal government doesn’t require U.S. states or territories to observe daylight saving time, which is why residents of Arizona (except for residents of the Navajo Indian Reservation), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Marianas Islands won’t need to change their clocks this weekend. Other states could soon follow suit, or mandate permanent DST, or even do something else entirely.

Tufts University professor Michael Downing, author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, said that each year at least 10 and often as many as 30 new bills appear in various state legislatures to advocate either permanently stopping daylight saving or going on daylight saving time all year long.

“It’s an annual treat,” he said, noting that the bills vary widely and could create some real clock kerfuffles.

“This year I think the Kentucky/Tennessee situation is particularly interesting. Each state has two time zones, which adds to the complications, but if their two proposals went through their independent legislatures, Tennessee would be on permanent DST while Kentucky would be on permanent standard time.

“That would mean—and this is ridiculous but true—cities in Tennessee’s eastern time zone and Kentucky’s central time zone that are only 5 or 10 miles [8 to 16 kilometers] apart would have two-hour time differences.”


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