What’s The Meaning Behind “Springing Forward?”

What’s The Meaning Behind “Springing Forward?”

Daylight saving time (DST) is the practice of moving the clocks forward one hour from Standard Time during the summer months and changing them back again in the fall.

By synchronously resetting all clocks in a region to one hour ahead of standard time, individuals who follow a clock-based schedule will wake an hour earlier than they would have otherwise; they will begin and complete daily work routines an hour earlier, and they will have available to them an extra hour of daylight after their workday activities.

When Daylight Saving Time hit, we all had to “spring forward” by advancing our clocks and losing a precious hour of sleep. Yeah, that’s a bummer.

Maybe you’re even one of the not-so-few of us who didn’t change all your clocks and ended up being late to something. Extra bummer.

What Is “Spring Forward?”

“Spring forward” is an introductory term for the daylight savings hours in Spring for North Americans.

It will occur every second Sunday in March till the first Sunday in November local time.

That means you’ll lose an hour of sleep. And you’ll have to wait until 2 a.m. Nov. 6, when daylight saving time ends, to get it back. That’s when clocks “fall back” an hour.

Historic use records show that the phrase “spring forward, fall back” has been used at least as far back as the early 20th century.

For example, the Heppner Gazette-Times on Oct. 28, 1928, printed a notice stating, “Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, Oct. 31. Remember to set your clocks back one hour, ‘Spring Forward – Fall Back!’.”

The news media in the U.S. often report DST as part of their local coverage and cultural aspects of DST.

European countries can change their clock a couple of days earlier than in America if they change the hours.

Tips for changing times are commonly discussed in media about time changes.

Why Does Daylight Saving Time Exists — And Is So Unpopular?

Time-shifting was originally designed to maximize daylight time, but its benefits are debatable.

During sunrise, spring signifies numerous changes: warmer weather and longer days with blooms peeping out of the dirt.

In the United States, springtime has the opportunity to start daylight saving time. This period of daylight savings is often inaccurately named at noontime.

It is primarily observed during daylight savings periods.

The daylight saving time starts at 2:00 a.m. local time on the second Sunday of March, when the clock goes forward an hour.

What’s Behind The Changes In Sunlight?

Earth’s nonlinear rotation causes seasonal variations of time. Our planet rotates at approximately 23.5 degrees relative to its orbit around the Solar System.

It means the Equator usually receives 12 hours of daylight and night all year but not more so whichever direction you go. Summer is when the northern hemisphere shines in bright light.

This tilt towards the sun results in long and warm days. Likewise, southern hemispheres are plunged into winter as they turn from sun to sun.

Six months later, the circumstances reverse, and it is snowing in the northern regions while the light is drenching in the southern half.

When coal still ruled, daylight saving time was implemented to maximize limited daylight hours.

Because of this, a given region’s participation depends, in part, on how far the location is from the Equator.

Countries farther away have a more pronounced difference in day length between summer and winter and are more likely to participate in the time shift.

Who Observes Daylight Saving Time?

Not all of us are in the clock-shifting frenzy. Hawaii, the largest part of Arizona, and Guam and Navajo Nation territories are also excluded from daylight saving times.

In general, change in clock usage varies widely.

Most North America, Europe, New Zealand, and some Middle East areas are involved with this change every year, though each has its starting and stopping dates.

Most African and Asian countries do not alter their clocks. South American and Australian opinion is polarised. The European participation, however, will be changed.

Should Daylight Saving Time Be Permanent?

Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and American Somoa are the only states of the USA where the time doesn’t change.

Arizona observed daylight saving time in 1978, but an exemption statute was enacted one year later. Under the Uniform Time Act, Hawaii opted out of the law, too.

Hawaii’s location —limited differences between summer and winter daylight hours — was the main factor.

Between 2015 and 2019, 29 states have passed bills to end daylight savings time twice a year to reduce costs by changing clocks.

A 2017 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that 75% of pedestrian fatalities occur in the dark.

However, it is unclear whether morning darkness poses a greater risk than evening darkness.

The U.S. Department of Transportation claims the extended daylight hours of daylight saving time save lives because fewer drivers after dark translate to a reduction in car crashes.

They also claim daylight saving time reduces crime because fewer people are out after dark.

As the arguments for permanent daylight saving time and permanent standard time continue in the U.S., the European Union (E.U.) has made the first steps toward eliminating the seasonal time change.

A study conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine showed that 63% of Americans favor eliminating seasonal changes to sleep.

Experts in circadian rhythms and sleep caution against permanent daylight saving time, recommending year-round standard time as the preferred option for public health and safety.

The sudden time change can have harmful effects, such as increased workplace injury, most notably through loss of sleep.

Arguments For Permanent Daylight Saving Time

Currently, dozens of state Senators are introducing a bill that would require standardized daylight time.

Several senators recently reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act 11, originally proposed by Florida in 2018, which calls for permanent daylight saving time.

The supporters claim it decreases the chance of stroke and heart disease and prevents other types from occurring.

However, more studies must be done to find a way to prevent stroke and heart attacks.

Is Daylight Saving Time Beneficial?

For many, it looks sloppy and leads to missed meetings and sleepless residents. This can cause severe damage. A recent study found increased heart rates associated with spring and fall.

Several studies have shown this to increase car accidents, but the effects are relatively low.

Besides sleeping disturbances, there may have been other health problems as well. There is even evidence that there has been significant energy saving in recent years.

A 2008 study found that daylight saving time increases residential electricity use and pollution.

Lighting was a major factor in the initial discussions of energy conservation and daylight saving time. However, lighting has become increasingly energy-efficient over time.

Other factors, such as heating and cooling, may greatly influence energy usage.

When Did Daylight Saving Start?

People are unsure how daylight saving was started. Some believe Benjamin Franklin first suggested setting clocks for extended hours in summer.

In his 1784 letter An Economical Project to the editor of the Journal of Paris, Franklin suggested that beginning and ending the day based on sunrise and sunset would reduce candle waste and save energy.

Franklin said that beginning and ending the day by sunrise/sunrise would reduce candle consumption and save electricity.

“Every morning, as soon as the sun rises, let all the bells in every church be set ringing: and if that is not sufficient, let cannon be fired in every street to wake the sluggards effectually,” Franklin suggested.

The word died out in the U.K. but has begun to re-colonize now due to the take-up of the U.S. expression “spring forward, fall back,” which we all use toward the end of October when, using the old English parlance, “the clocks go back.”

Daylight Saving Time, or Summer Time as it is called in the U.K., is a European innovation. Some claims are made for it being an idea that Benjamin Franklin had while staying in Paris.

That’s not quite correct. Franklin did wake one morning at six o’clock to be surprised to see his room in full sun.

Some believe the Canadian city of Port Arthur to be the first city to have introduced daylight saving time in 1908.

When Does Daylight Saving Time End?

Change the clocks Saturday evening. Daylight Savings Day will be on Sunday, March 13, 2022, at 2:00. We will go forward an hour.

World War I Led To Adoption Of DST

Following World War I, attitudes changed considerably. The government reaffirmed the necessity for conserving coal used to heat houses.

Germans were the first to officially adopt extending light systems in 1915 to save fuel during World War I.

In 1916 British summer time became a standard: between May 21 and Oct. 1, clocks were moved to an hour ahead.

The U.S. followed in 1918 after the passage of the Standard Time Act by Congress that established the time zones. It was massive despite public protest.

A U.S. government Congressional Committee was formed to investigate the benefits of Daylight Saving Time.

Many Americans viewed the practice as an absurd attempt to make late sleepers get up early. Others thought it was unnatural to follow “clock time” instead of “sun time.”

A columnist in the Saturday Evening Post offered this alternative: “Why not ‘save summer’ by having June begin at the end of February?”

The matter took on new meaning in April 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson declared war.

The Congressional Commission was established in 2003 to examine how daylight savings works.

Daylight Saving Time Today

The current daylight saving period was created by the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

Today most Americans spring forward on the second Sunday in March (2:00 a.m.), but they fall back the first Sunday of November.

See the time changes for sunrise and sunset in this sunrise/set calculation.

After World War I ended, U.S. farmers objected to the continuation of daylight saving time because they did not want to lose an hour of morning light.

During World War II, the U.S. reinstated daylight saving time with clocks kept continually advanced for over two years.

Local differences and inconsistent adherence to time zones among the states created considerable confusion with interstate bus and train service.

Daylight saving time was not consistently practiced across the entire country during the non-wartime until the Uniform Time Act 5, enacted by Congress in 1966.

But farmers are still lobbying Congress to stop the practices, arguing that if the sun is shining in their fields early morning, they should have a sunrise at a reasonable hour to finish their jobs.

DST Returns

Despite the Pearl Harbor attack, the topic never resurfaced again until the day after 9/11, and the U.S. is now again at war.

During World War II, the daylight savings period (which was again imposed year around) was again enforced to reduce fuel use.

The clock was set a minute prior so it could conserve energy.

After the 1945 Japanese surrender, Daylight Saving Time began using on and off throughout various countries from their beginning to their end.

Local Differences And Inconsistencies

In most countries that observe seasonal daylight saving time, the clock observed in winter is legally named “standard time” [41] in accordance with the standardization of time zones to agree with the local mean time near the center of each region.

The inconsistency with time zones in the States caused substantial difficulties with interstate transport services.

The Uniform Time Act introduced in 1966 a system establishing daylight savings time in the U.S.: clocks would be set an hour before a final Sunday in April and an hour before a final Sunday in October.

It was a norm though some state legislators made exceptions to this law. Hawaii residents did not change their clocks.

Farmers Did NOT Favor DST

Some Americans mistakenly see farmers’ motivation behind daylight savings. Those farming workers were arguably the strongest enemy, but remained persistent in their refusal.

When the war ended, farmers started speaking out in protest. They urged that it be stopped by daylight savings, claiming it only benefits offices and leisure people.

The controversy highlighted the growing gaps between rural residents.

Why Did Daylight Saving Time Start?

Benjamin Franklin authored his first economic project in 1784, which aimed to save daylight.

In a whimsical tone, the book advocated legislation forcing citizens to rise before dawn at night to prevent the expense of candlelight.

When Is Daylight Saving Time? When Does The Time Change?

Daylight Saving Time usually starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

To remember the right direction to place the clocks, the people usually use “spring ahead,” and “fall back.”

The expression “lose an hour here, gain an hour there” also describes the start and end of DST. While being commonly used, it can be a confusing mnemonic.

“Losing an hour” can arguably mean both setting the clocks forward (i.e., having an hour less) and back (i.e., “losing” as in “removing” or “decreasing the number”).

Who Is DST’s True Founder?

The first real advocate for daylight savings time was Englishman William Willett. Architect in London, his idea began when riding a horse on the mornings of 1908.

He wrote the pamphlet, Waste of Daylight in 1907.

Daylight saving time was and has remained a controversial contrivance.

Still, Willet’s proposal was taken up in England in the First World War and is now used in many countries, especially in the Northern Hemisphere.

England sent the word “fall” and the idea of daylight saving time to the U.S. They sent back the phrase “spring forward, fall back.”

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the history behind daylight saving time. Be sure to check our news page for more insightful topics.


Sources: Time and Date, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Time, National Public Radio, AS USA, Yahoo! Sports, U.S. Department of Transportation, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Society of Human Resource Management, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Public Radio, Scientific American, National Library of Medicine, The Phrase Finder, 99.9 The Bay, ABC7NY, The Congress Project, Almanac, National Archives, Ballotpedia, Time and Date, Quartz, WebExhibits, Today I Found Out, BBC News, WebExhibits, Ross Community Center

Featured Image: Fox 8

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