Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

March 6, 2014

Time to save the daylight

-- — If you’re a little more sleepy this Sunday morning and subsequent mornings, blame Benjamin Franklin.

The founding father is the one who reportedly first considered the notion of Daylight-Saving Time. He liked the idea of having an extra hour of daylight in the evening to allow for more work, and likely later in his life, time for more play after work.

Of course to make Daylight-Saving Time work, our clocks will spring forward this weekend so that when it is 2 a.m. Sunday, it automatically becomes 3 a.m., meaning one less hour of sleep before it’s time to make church.

Come Monday, it will mean facing early morning darkness again as children and adults wake for school and work respectively. At least for a little while.

While Franklin proposed the concept of saving more daylight for being awake, it didn’t become a reality until the 20th century to essentially adapt the daylight hours with the working hours of the work week.

For many years, the clock seemed split between Standard Time, which is what we see on our clocks now, and Daylight-Saving Time. A few years ago, the process changed so that Standard Time ran from the first Sunday in November to the second Sunday in March.

So, now Daylight-Saving Time lasts eight months as opposed to only four months for Standard Time in the U.S.

The twice-yearly time changes have also become the signal for changing batteries in smoke detectors — a practice that has likely saved innumerable lives through the years.

So, come Sunday morning and for at least a few proceeding mornings, as you’re cursing old Ben as you drag yourself out of bed, remember to thank him as you enjoy an extra hour of daylight spent away from work each evening.

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