Daylight Saving Time Myths and Facts

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’ll go ahead and tell you, I love to use books and current events to strike my boys’ imagination!  They all love to read and I feed their imaginations and curiosity with beautifully illustrated, thought provoking books!  One of my favorites about the concept of time is About Time, A First Look at Time and Clocks. If you have not introduced calendars and clocks to your children, this is a great time and way to do so.  So, let’s get to my article about Daylight Saving Time Myths and Facts!

Daylight Saving Time Myths and Facts

In 2013, Daylight Saving Time (DST) started March 10th at 2:00 AM local time. This year, 2014, it starts March 8th. We move our clocks forward one hour in the spring (spring forward) and move our clocks back one hour in the fall. This got me wondering … who thought up this strange clock change to begin with! I’ve always heard that it was for the farmers to get more work in during the daylight hours and that it was originated in the US. Both of these appear to be persistent myths!  Since we are now focused on farming, I wanted to know what the facts are surrounding DST!!

Daylight Saving Time Spring Forward[/caption]So many sources credit Ben Franklin with creating DST. However, it seems most credible sources are now acknowledging that it originated in London,  England. A home builder, by the name of William Willett led the first campaign to implement daylight saving time after an early morning horseback ride in the countryside around London. With his own money, in 1907 he printed a brochure, The Waste of Daylight. It seems Willett became quite obsessed with this idea, but when he died in 1915, it had not been implemented in England.The first country to actually implement DST was Germany during World War I, in order to conserve electricity. In 1918, the United States followed suit as a wartime measure.

There are still states in the United States that do not recognize Daily Saving Time, Hawaii and Arizona. Many communities do not change their clocks nor do some of the US territories. In reality, only about one-quarter of the world’s population, in approximately 70 countries, observe daylight saving time.

What is the purpose for Daylight Saving Time?

To get better use of the daylight by having the sun rise one hour later in the morning and set one hour later in the evening.

There are several persistent myths surrounding daylight saving time that continue to be passed down. Here are a few:

    • Ben Franklin did not create this idea behind Daylight Saving Time.
    • It was not started in America for the farmers… they were actually opposed to it.  It was a wartime measure.  
    • There is not a federal rule or law which dictates that states or territories observe daylight saving time.  In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the start and end dates for daylight saving time but allowed individual states to remain on standard time if their legislatures allowed it.

So, now you know too!  Until next time…

Free Filibuster Lesson

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Current Events Study:  Senate Filibuster




(Note) If you have not introduced civics yet, you will need to cover a bit of background information to help your children grasp what a filibuster is.   A great site to use is:  We love the Schoolhouse Rocks videos to help teach a concept.  Here is “I’m Just a Bill”:  



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