Standard time comes to an end at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 9, 2014, and although we'll technically be losing an hour of sleep as we "spring ahead," we'll be gaining an hour of sunlight, which is more than fine with me.
It's been cold and unforgiving all winter, and there's nothing like the blaring sun to make me feel alive again. Returning home from work in the dark has had me wanting to put on my PJs and go straight to bed after dinner. But with daylight looming for another hour, I might be more inclined to grab my pruners and head out into the garden. And when the weather turns springlike -- although it may feel it never will -- all will be right with the world again.
I realize not everyone shares my DST glee: My husband loathes the lost hour -- and mourns it until his beloved Standard Time returns in autumn. And he's not alone: There's a bill before the Utah Legislature to study whether the state should join Arizona and Hawaii and opt out of DST altogether. Tennessee, on the other hand, has a bill moving through its general assembly that, if passed, will make DST permanent.
The notion of Daylight Saving Time is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, who proposed rising an hour earlier in order to conserve candles, but it didn't take root until World War II, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt started what he called "War Time” in an effort to save resources. According to timeanddate.com, the law, which was in effect from 1942 to 1945, "was enforced 40 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and during this time, time zones were called 'Eastern War Time,' 'Central War Time' and 'Pacific War Time.' After the surrender of Japan in mid-August 1945, the time zones were relabeled 'Peace Time.' " But mass confusion ensued because states and municipalities were able to opt in or out -- until the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was passed. It's still not mandatory, but all states except Arizona and Hawaii participate. More than 70 countries worldwide have adapted their own versions, as well.
As we turn our clocks ahead one hour -- I change mine before turning in on Saturday night -- officials advise us to take a few minutes and also change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This way, we can bask in sunlight and safety this spring.