And just because we can't help ourselves, here are a few facts you may not have known about Daylight Saving Time:
idea of daylight saving was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin
during his sojourn as an American delegate in Paris in 1784, in an
essay, "An Economical Project." Some of Franklin's friends, inventors
of a new kind of oil lamp, were so taken by the scheme that they
continued corresponding with Franklin even after he returned to
- In September 1999, the West Bank was on Daylight
Saving Time while Israel had just switched back to standard time. West
Bank terrorists prepared time bombs and smuggled them to their
counterparts in Israel, who misunderstood the time on the bombs. As the
bombs were being planted, they exploded - one hour too early - killing
three terrorists instead of the intended victims - two busloads of
- Amtrak - to keep to their published timetables,
trains cannot leave a station before the scheduled time. So, when the
clocks fall back one hour in October, all Amtrak trains in the U.S. that
are running on time stop at 2:00 a.m. and wait one hour before
resuming. Overnight passengers are often surprised to find their train
at a dead stop and their travel time an hour longer than expected. At
the spring Daylight Saving Time change, trains instantaneously become an
hour behind schedule at 2:00 a.m., but they just keep going and do
their best to make up the time.
- While twins born at 11:55
p.m. and 12:05 a.m. may have different birthdays, Daylight Saving Time
can change birth order - on paper, anyway. During the time change in
the fall, one baby could be born at 1:55 a.m. and the sibling born ten
minutes later, at 1:05 a.m. In the spring, there is a gap when no
babies are born at all: from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.
- In the United States, Daylight Saving Time commences at 2:00 a.m. to minimize disruption. However, many states restrict bars from serving alcohol between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. At 2:00 a.m. in the fall, however, the time switches back one hour. So, can bars serve alcohol for that additional hour? Some states claim that bars actually stop serving liquor at 1:59 a.m., so they have already stopped serving when the time reverts to Standard Time. Other states solve the problem by saying that liquor can be served until "two hours after midnight." In practice, however, many establishments stay open an extra hour in the fall.
- In the U.S., 2:00 a.m. was originally chosen as the changeover time because it was practical and minimized disruption. Most people were at home and this was the time when the fewest trains were running. It is late enough to minimally affect bars and restaurants, and it prevents the day from switching to yesterday, which would be confusing. It is early enough that the entire continental U.S. switches by daybreak, and the changeover occurs before most early shift workers and early churchgoers are affected.