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When Do We Have to Turn the Clocks Back for Daylight Saving Time?

Remember: It's spring forward and fall back! Enjoy that extra hour of sleep!

At 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3, the clock will be moved back to 1 a.m. in the United States and Canada. Patch file photo
At 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3, the clock will be moved back to 1 a.m. in the United States and Canada. Patch file photo
At 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, Daylight Saving Time will end and we'll all change our clocks by setting them back one hour to 1 a.m.

Or perhaps more realistically, our cell phones will do it for us but those oven clocks aren't going to change themselves, people! 

Daylight Saving Time has a long and storied history. Here's just a few tidbits from the Time and Date website and the DST WebExhibits page.

  • Ben Franklin is credited with first coming up with the idea for Daylight Saving Time while he was in Paris in 1784. He wrote an essay titled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” that suggested getting up earlier, making use of morning light and thus saving candle wax.
  • Three other prominent people were on board with the idea years later: A New Zealand entomologist named George Vernon Hudson in 1895, William Willett in 1905 and Robert Pearce in 1908. Pearce brought a proposed Daylight Saving Time bill to the House of Commons, but it never saw the light of day. 
  • Daylight Saving Time finally took off during World War I, as a way to save fuel.
  • Next up are years of confusion and varied ways of approaching Daylight Saving Time, until The Uniform Time Act of 1966 provided a uniform way to approach the day.
  • Then in 1986, legislation was passed and DST began at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in April and ended at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday in October.
  • But wait — it's November this year. That's because The Energy Policy Act of 2005 states that DST begins at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November.

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