History of DST in the United States
Benjamin Franklin proposed a form of daylight time in 1784. His essay, “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light”, written to the editor of The Journal of Paris, observed that Parisians could save on candles by getting out of bed earlier in the morning, making use of the natural morning light instead. Franklin's suggestion seems to have been more of a joke than a real proposal, and nothing came of it.
1916–1966: Early, inconsistent use
During World War I, in an effort to conserve fuel, Germany began observing DST on May 1, 1916. The rest of Europe soon followed. The plan was not adopted in the United States until the Standard Time Act of March 19, 1918, which confirmed the existing standard time zone system and set summer DST to begin on March 31, 1918 (reverting October 27). The idea was unpopular and Congress abolished DST after the war, overriding President Woodrow Wilson's veto. DST became a local option and was observed in some states until World War II, when President Franklin Roosevelt instituted year-round DST, called "War Time", on February 9, 1942. It lasted until the last Sunday (the 30th) in September 1945. After 1945 many states and cities east of the Mississippi River (and mostly north of the Ohioand Potomac rivers) adopted summer DST.
From 1945 to 1966 there was no federal law on daylight saving time, so localities could choose when it began and ended or drop it entirely. As of 1954, only California and Nevada had statewide DST west of the Mississippi, and only a few cities between Nevada and St. Louis. In the 1964 Official Railway Guide, 21 of the 48 contiguous states had no DST anywhere.
1966–1972: Federal standard established
By 1962, the transportation industry found the lack of consistency confusing enough to push for federal regulation. The result was the Uniform Time Act of 1966 (P.L. 89-387). Beginning in 1967, the act mandated standard time within the established time zones and provided for advanced time: clocks would be advanced one hour beginning at 2:00 a.m. on the last Sunday in April and turned back one hour at 2:00 a.m. on the last Sunday in October. States were allowed to exempt themselves from DST as long as the entire state did so. If a state chose to observe DST, the time changes were required to begin and end on the established dates. In 1967, Arizona and Michigan became the first states to exempt themselves from DST (Michigan would begin observing DST in 1972). In 1972, the act was amended (P.L. 92-267), allowing those states split between time zones to exempt either the entire state or that part of the state lying within a different time zone. The newly created Department of Transportation (DOT) was given power to enforce the law. As of 2014, the following states and territories are not observing DST: Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
1973–1975: Year-round experiment
During the 1973 oil embargo by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), in an effort to conserve fuel, Congress enacted a trial period of year-round DST (P.L. 93-182), beginning January 6, 1974, and ending April 27, 1975. The trial was hotly debated. Those in favor pointed to increased daylight hours in the winter evening: more time for recreation, reduced lighting and heating demands, reduced crime, and reduced automobile accidents. The opposition was concerned about children leaving for school in the dark. The act was amended in October 1974 (P.L. 93-434) to return to standard time for the period beginning October 27, 1974, and ending February 23, 1975, when DST resumed. When the trial ended in 1975, the country returned to observing summer DST (with the aforementioned exceptions).
1975–1986: Extension of daylight saving time
The DOT, evaluating the plan of extending DST into March, reported in 1975 that "modest overall benefits might be realized by a shift from the historic six-month DST (May through October) in areas of energy conservation, overall traffic safety and reduced violent crime." However, DOT also reported that these benefits were minimal and difficult to distinguish from seasonal variations and fluctuations in energy prices.
Congress then asked the National Bureau of Standards (NBS, today NIST) to evaluate the DOT report. Its report, "Review and Technical Evaluation of the DOT Daylight Saving Time Study" (April 1976), found no significant energy savings or differences in traffic fatalities. It did find statistically significant evidence of increased fatalities among school-age children in the mornings during the four-month period January–April 1974 as compared with the same period (non-DST) of 1973. NBS stated that it was impossible to determine, what, if any, of this increase was due to DST. When this data was compared between 1973 and 1974 for the months of March and April, no significant difference was found in fatalities among school-age children in the mornings.
In 1986 Congress enacted P.L. 99-359, amending the Uniform Time Act by changing the beginning of DST to the first Sunday in April and having the end remain the last Sunday in October. These start and end dates were in effect from 1987 to 2006. The time was adjusted at 2:00 a.m. local time.
2005–2009: Second extension
By the Energy Policy Act of 2005, daylight saving time (DST) was extended in the United States beginning in 2007. As from that year, DST begins on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November. In years when April 1 falls on Monday through Wednesday, these changes result in a DST period that is five weeks longer; in all other years the DST period is instead four weeks longer. In 2008 daylight saving time ended at 2:00 a.m. DST (0200) (1:00 a.m. ST) on Sunday, November 2, and in 2009 it began at 2:00 a.m. (3:00 a.m. DST) on Sunday, March 8. Wyoming Senator Michael Enzi and Michigan Representative Fred Upton advocated the extension from October into November especially to allow children to go trick-or-treating in more daylight.
Under Section 110 of the Act, the U.S. Department of Energy was required to study the impact of the 2007 DST extension no later than nine months after the change took effect. The report, released in October 2008, reported a nationwide electricity savings of 0.03% for the year of 2007.
An October 2008 study conducted by the University of California at Santa Barbara for the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the 2006 DST adoption in Indiana increased energy consumption in Indiana by an average of 1%. Although consumption for lighting dropped as a result of the DST adoption, consumption for heating and cooling increased by 2% to 4%. The cost to the average Indiana household of the DST adoption was determined to be $3.29 per year, for an aggregate cost of $1.7 million to $5.5 million per year.
(Information originally found on Wikipedia at link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time_in_the_United_States)