Sunday, November 3, 2019

This Is Why We Have Daylight Saving in the First Place

In spring we spring forward, and in fall we fall back ... but why?

As the days get shorter in the fall, we set our clocks an hour back to take advantage of the extra morning sunlight. Daylight saving time lasts until spring when the clocks go forward again. At this point, the custom doesn’t seem to mean much besides an extra hour of sleep (or an hour less in the spring), but it all started as a money-saving scheme.

You might have heard that Benjamin Franklin invented daylight saving time, but that’s not the case. In 1784, he wrote a tongue-in-cheek letter to The Journal of Paris sharing a story of being woken up by the sun at 6 a.m., when he didn’t expect it before noon. “I considered that, if I had not been awakened so early in the morning, I should have slept six hours longer by the light of the sun, and in exchange have lived six hours the following night by candle-light,” he wrote. Candles cost money, but sunlight is free, so he laid out a plan to have Parisians get up with the sun in the spring and summer.

Read the rest of Marissa Laliberte's story at www.rd.com/culture/why-we-have-daylight-saving-time/.

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