Daylight Saving Time origins

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Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of advancing clocks (typically by one hour) during warmer months so that darkness falls at a later clock time. The idea of aligning waking hours to daylight hours to conserve candles was first proposed in 1784 by American polymath Benjamin Franklin. In a satirical letter to the editor of The Journal of Paris, Franklin suggested that waking up earlier in the summer would economize on candle usage1. The concept of DST as we know it today was first proposed by New Zealand entomologist and astronomer George Hudson in 1895. He suggested changing clocks by two hours every spring1. Independently from Hudson, British builder William Willett proposed in 1905 setting the clocks ahead 20 minutes on each of the four Sundays in April, and switching them back by the same amount on each of the four Sundays in September2. The first practical implementation of DST was in Thunder Bay, Canada in 1908. However, the idea did not catch on globally until Germany introduced DST in 1916, during World War I, to minimize the use of artificial lighting and save fuel for the war effort. Within a few weeks, the United Kingdom, France, and many other countries followed the idea2. In the United States, DST was first adopted in 1918. Most jurisdictions abandoned DST in the years after World War I ended in 1918, with exceptions including Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, and the United States. It became common during World War II, and was standardized in the U.S. with the Uniform Time Act of 1966, which formalized the United States' period of daylight saving time observation as lasting six months. This period was extended to seven months in 1986, and then to eight months in 200513. Today, DST is used in over 70 countries worldwide and affects over one billion people every year. The beginning and end dates vary from one country to another2.
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