It's Time to Spring Forward: Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 2:00 A.M. On Saturday night, clocks are set forward 1 hour to “spring forward.” Sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour later on Mar 12, 2023 than the day before, so there will be more light in the evening,"saving daylight".
Daylight Saving Time (“DST”) is the practice of moving the clocks forward one hour from Standard Time during the summer months and changing them back again in the fall. Daylight Saving Time always begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. The general idea is that this allows us all to make better use of natural daylight. Moving the clocks forward one hour in the spring grants us more daylight during summer evenings, while moving clocks back one hour in the fall grants us more daylight during winter mornings. The practice hasn't been without controversy.
Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 2:00 A.M. On Saturday night, clocks are set forward 1 hour (i.e., losing one hour) to “spring forward.” Sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour later on Mar 12, 2023 than the day before. There will be more light in the evening.
Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at 2:00 A.M. On Saturday night, clocks are set back 1 hour (i.e., gaining one hour) to “fall back.” Sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour earlier on Nov 5, 2023 than the day before. There will be more light in the morning.
Note: Since the time changes at 2:00 A.M., we generally change our clocks before bed on Saturday.
After Daylight Saving Time begins and through the summer months, the period is called “Daylight Time,” abbreviated “DT.” When Daylight Saving Time ends, we go back to “Standard Time” or “ST.” This abbreviation includes the time zone. For our area, Eastern Daylight Time is EDT and Eastern Standard Time is EST.
Benjamin Franklin’s “An Economical Project,” written in 1784, is the earliest known proposal to “save” daylight. It was whimsical in tone, advocating laws to compel citizens to rise at the crack of dawn to save the expense of candlelight:
“Every morning, as soon as the Sun rises, let all the bells in every church be set ringing: and if that is not sufficient, let cannon be fired in every street to wake the sluggards effectually… . Oblige a man to rise at four in the morning, and it is probable that he will go willingly to bed at eight in the evening.”
Historically, the changing of clocks was established by law in 1918 as a fuel saving measure during World War I. It has been discontinued and reenacted many times over the years. The most recent change is from The Energy Policy Act of 2005. It amended the Uniform Time Act of 1966 by abolishing the year-round DST and changing the start and end dates of DST in order to lengthen the previous daylight-saving time.
DST would now start on the second Sunday of March instead of on the first Sunday of April.
DST would end the first Sunday of November, rather than the last Sunday of October .
Congress retained the right to revert to the previous law should the change prove unpopular or if the energy savings would be insignificant. Notably, states were granted the right to opt out of observing DST and remain on standard time. There is a common myth that DST was established to extend the daylight hours for farmers. Farmers were extremely opposed to the disruption it causes. For the farmer, plants and animals, it is the sun and seasons which determines their activity.
As of January 2023, 19 individual states have passed bills to end the practice of switching clocks. However, the legislation can only go into effect if Federal Law changes. The Uniform Time Act would need to be amended to allow such a change. In early 2022, a bill to enact permanent Daylight Saving Time unanimously passed in the Senate, but it was not taken up by the House and will now have to be reintroduced in order to have any chance of moving forward.
Many Americans believe that changing the clocks is an antiquated practice from wartime that has more negative than positive results. According to one study, 7 out of 10 Americans today do not want to change their clocks and think it’s a bad idea. Here’s the catch: Not everyone agrees whether the clocks should stay on standard time (the clock defined by the sun) OR stay on Daylight Saving Time (DST, the clock that darkens mornings to brighten evenings).