22 hours ago
Monday, March 29, 2010
No, I'm not talking about the season, Summer. At least not yet. Today, I'm referring to Daylight Savings Time, or Summer Time as it's called in Europe. I know this occurred in the States two weekends ago, but those of us across the pond, it seemed like just yesterday. Oh, wait. It was. So, in honor of Summer Time, I thought I'd share a few fun facts.
Why do we have it? There are several reasons. The idea of daylight savings was originally conceived by Benjamin Franklin while in Paris in 1784. It wasn't until 1916, however, that Germany and Austria took the lead and implemented the practice in a bid to save fuel costs. Other countries soon followed, with the U.S. passing the first Daylight Savings Time law in 1918.
There has been controversy from the start. Those whose schedules are tied to sunrise, such as farmers, don't like the practice. Others argue that the original intention, to save money on energy costs, is moot and than that it actually increases costs as the use of air conditioners has increased in the past 40 years. There seem to be more auto accidents, lost productivity and sleep disturbances while people adjust to the time change twice a year.
Did you know that in 1965, Minneapolis-St. Paul suffered great unrest as a result of Daylight Savings Time? St. Paul decided to start DST early to conform to most of the nation, while Minneapolis thought it should follow Minnesota's state law, stipulating a later start date. After much negotiations and quarreling, they could not agree and the metropolitan area was divided.
I don't think we'll ever all agree. Personally, I like having the extra hour of sunshine at the end of day when I'm free to enjoy it. What's your preference?