What Will You Do With That Extra Hour?

Did you turn back your clock before bed, and remember to put fresh batteries in your smoke detectors, as we returned to Pacific Standard Time.

California and 47 other states are among those to ''fall back'' one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, when daylight-saving time ended and the state moved back to Pacific Standard Time. Did you turn back your clocks when you went to bed last night.

What will you do with that extra hour?  Tell us in the comments box below.

Only Hawaii, Arizona, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa decline to participate in the yearly "spring ahead, fall back" exercise. Phoenix and Los Angeles will have the same local time for the next five months. And starting Sunday, Honolulu will be two hours earlier than Los Angeles, instead of the current three-hour difference.

About 70 countries around the world observe the shift from daylight-saving time to standard time. Neither China nor Japan however, observes "spring ahead, fall back." Many other countries refer to "daylight-saving time" as "summertime."

Daylight-saving time returns at 2 a.m. local time the second Sunday in March.

So where did this idea for shifting time originate? Blame Benjamin Franklin who is thought to have come up with the idea for daylight-saving time in 1784. In a whimsical letter to a French journal, he said that Parisians could save thousands of francs a year by waking up earlier during the summer because it would prevent them from having to buy so many candles to light the evening hours. Voila! Energy efficiency decades ahead of its time.

"In the early 19th century … localities set their own time," Bill Mosley, a public affairs officer at the U.S. Department of Transportation told National Geographic. "It was kind of a crazy quilt of time, time zones, and time usage. When the railroads came in, that necessitated more standardization of time so that railroad schedules could be published."

In 1883 the U.S. railroad industry established official time zones with a set standard time within each zone. Congress eventually came on board, signing the railroad time zone system into law in 1918, Mosley said. That's when daylight-saving time was adopted by Congress in an effort to save energy during World War I. It proved unpopular and was repealed the next year.

But war brought it back again.  In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted "war-time," a year-round daylight-saving time to save energy during World War II. In 1945, many states adopted their own summer time changes. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act. And since then there have been several modifications in the start dates for daylight time and the return to standard time.

These days, fire officials have latched onto the time change to urge people to remove and replace batteries for smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and evacuation flashlights.


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