Daylight Savings Time

Daylights savings time, linked to the long days of summer, is approaching quickly! On March 8th, most of the US, Canada, and Europe, along with a few countries in South America, Africa, and the Middle East, will be losing an hour of sleep on Saturday night in exchange for a later sunset (and sunrise). Interestingly, it is primarily western countries that partake in daylight savings. This skewed geographic distribution is likely a result of daylight saving’s history. The modern manifestation of daylight savings time was implemented by Germany and Austria-Hungary in the midst of World War I as a way to conserve coal. The European allied powers and neutral European countries joined that year. Russia followed in 1917 and the US followed in 1918. After the war, though, daylights savings times was mostly abandoned. Indiana, split between time zones, has an interesting history of involvement in daylights savings time. Until 2006, most of Eastern Standard Time Indiana did not observe daylight savings; now the entire state follows daylight savings. Today, daylight savings is primarily a throwback to the patriotism of World War I, but is also a way to maximize that after work daylight.

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American World War I propaganda.


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