This Sunday, March 8, at 2 am, clocks will be set forward one hour to mark the beginning of Daylight Saving, stealing away one precious hour of sleep that we won’t have returned to us until the first Sunday of November. While we used to say “don’t forget to change your clocks,” our beloved smartphones will be doing all that hard work this weekend. Welcome to #2020.
The history of Daylight Saving is as complicated as it is recent. So to help justify the few days of grogginess you’ll be feeling, here are a few things you might not know about Daylight Saving:
Credited to a New Zealand bug collector
George Vernon Hudson, a British-born New Zealander, proposed the idea of Daylight Saving Time in 1895. As an entomologist, Hudson treasured the daylight hours he had after work, which he used to collect insects. This lead to the idea of changing the clocks to allow for more daylight in the summer, which he presented in a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society in 1895. He even got a medal for it – the K. Sidey Medal.
Was first adopted in Thunder Bay, Ontario
Thunder Bay first adopted Daylight Saving Time in 1908, making it the first town in Canada to do so.
Adopted nation-wide by Germany and Austria-Hungary
The two European countries coordinated a nation-wide adoption of the practice for the first time on April 30, 1916.
The US added one more month… so Canada did too
Daylight Saving Time ended in October, until 1986 when they changed it to November. Both the Halloween candy and barbecue industries profited wildly – in fact, it has led to an estimated $100 million boost in grill sales since then.
Saw wide-spread use due to an energy crisis
Many countries began adopting Daylight Saving Time in the 1970s thanks to the global energy crisis – more daylight = less lights.
Saving – not Savings
While commonly called “Daylight Savings Time,” the official name for the practice is recognized as the singular.
The US was once on Daylight Saving Time for 15 months
In 1974, at the height of the energy crisis, President Richard Nixon signed the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act, which put the US on DST from January 1974 to April 1975.
Parts of BC don’t observe Daylight Saving
In the Peace River District (including Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Hudson’s Hope, Fort St. John, Taylor and Tumbler Ridge) the region is on Mountain Time and doesn’t set their clocks in the Spring and Winter. In the East Kootenay region (Cranbrook, Fernie, Golden and Invermere) the area is on the same time as Calgary.
Some places are on permanent Daylight Saving Time
Argentina, Chile, Iceland, Singapore, Uzbekistan, and Belarus all permanently set their clocks forward in an effort to get more daylight out of each day to save on energy.
Some people want it gone
Many argue that the benefits of Daylight Saving Time are outweighed by the detriments, and want it gone. At any given time, there are several petitions asking Canadian leaders to end the practice.