What time is it? Same time as yesterday at this time. No, it isn’t.
This idea was first suggested by none other than our very own Benjamin Franklin in 1784, while he was Ambassador to France. He suggested it as an Economical Project. It was a way to save lamp oil and heating fuel.
But the author of the first real proposal was George Hudson in 1815, in New Zealand. He apparently had trouble convincing people of its merits because his plan wasn’t adopted for several years. In 1927 he was awarded New Zealand’s Medal of Honor for his brilliant idea of saving daylight. His proposal wasn’t based on economics. Hudson was an entomologist who needed an extra hour to collect insect specimens.
During World War I the practice was popular in Europe not so much for saving an hour of daylight, but for saving the energy used during that hour. It was adopted for economics. It carried over to the United States during World War I, and was formally adopted in 1918. It was so unpopular it was repealed the next year.
Nothing more was heard about saving daylight until the war years of 1942-45, when President Roosevelt saw it as a way to conserve coal. And we’ve been doing it ever since. I guess we’re saving a lot of coal. Arizona and Hawaii are the only states that don’t mess with their clocks twice a year. That’s surprising because everywhere people grumble about this and no one sees any sense in it. Yet, there is no federal law requiring states to do this, and we just keep on doing it.
If we continue to take part in this arbitrarily useless project, we should at least learn to write it and say it correctly. It isn’t Daylight Savings Time. It’s Daylight Saving Time. Writers who might use this in their mystery plot, for instance, need to write it right.