Monday, March 14, 2016

Remember to spring ahead?

Aren't there supposed to be a rash of deaths caused by the time change? I hate losing that hour, even though I like the extra daylight. I didn't know it could be traced back to Ben Franklin, though. From National Geographic.

The Strange and Surprising History of Daylight Saving Time
U.S. clocks spring forward again this Sunday, March 13, for daylight saving time, the annual event that stretches the hours of evening sunlight and irritates those who'd rather leave well enough alone.  
So who's responsible for this controversial clock changing? Ben Franklin first introduced the basic idea way back in 1784, but he did so with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
French ambassador Franklin flashed his legendary wit with a letter to the Journal of Paris in which he claimed to be astonished, upon being awakened at 6 a.m., to find that the sun was already up. He, and no doubt his readers, had never seen the sun before noon. (Related: "Daylight Saving Time: 7 Surprising Things You May Not Know.") 
“I saw it with my own eyes. And, having repeated this observation the three following mornings, I found always precisely the same result.”  
Money would be saved, Franklin argued, if people rose with the sun and turned in earlier at night, replacing hours of expensive candle use with free morning daylight.
Just as modern daylight saving time—also known as daylight savings time—has its detractors, Franklin knew there would be opposition to his idea, and proposed measures including taxes on window shutters, rationing of candle sales enforced by police guards, a halt to non-emergency coach traffic after dark, and the firing of cannons in every street to get “sluggards” with the program. 

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