How Daylight Saving Time will affect sunrise, sunset times

RICHMOND, Va. -- This is the weekend when we "spring forward" one hour to observe Daylight Saving Time.

Spring Forward This Sunday

Spring Forward This Sunday

This will occur at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 10.  The time of 2 a.m. was originally chosen since it was thought it would be the least disruptive to most people's lives.

We lose an hour of sleep, balancing out that extra hour gained in the autumn.  Some overnight workers enjoy a shorter shift, making up for the longer shift when the clocks got switched in autumn.

The purpose is to save daylight for the end of the day and evening activities.  This is why it is daylight saving, and not daylight savings.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 changed when we switch the clocks.  Since 2007, we spring forward the clocks one hour on the second Sunday in March to Daylight Saving Time, and we fall back one hour on the first Sunday in November to Eastern Standard Time.  This extended the amount of time during the year that we observe Daylight Saving Time.  Prior to 2007, we used to change the clocks the first Sunday in April and the last Sunday in October.

Here are some facts about the twice-yearly time change:

  • Sunday, March 10, 2019 - Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m.
  • Since 2007, Daylight Saving Time starts in the United States on the second Sunday in March, and ends on the first Sunday in November.
  • Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019 -- Eastern Standard Time returns at 2 a.m.

The timeline of how Daylight Saving Time (DST) came to be:

  • 1784 - The idea of daylight saving is first conceived by Benjamin Franklin.
  • 1914-1918 - Britain goes on DST during World War I.
  • March 19, 1918 - The Standard Time Act establishes time zones and daylight saving. DST is repealed in 1919, but continues to be recognized in certain areas of the United States.
  • 1945-1966 - There is no federal law regarding DST.
  • 1966 - The Uniform Time Act of 1966 establishes the system of uniform DST throughout the United States. The dates are the last Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. States can exempt themselves from participation.
  • 1974-1975 - Congress extends DST in order to save energy during the energy crisis.
  • 1986-2006 - DST begins on the first Sunday in April and ends on the last Sunday in October.
  • August 8, 2005 - President George W. Bush signs the Energy Policy Act of 2005 into law. Part of the act extends DST starting in 2007, from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.
  • 2007 - Under the new laws, all of Indiana now observes DST, where only certain areas of the state did before.
  • Exceptions in the United States:  Hawaii and most of Arizona
  • The US territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and American Samoa also do not observe DST.
  • About 70 countries around the world observe DST.  Japan and China do not.
  • Many countries near the equator do not adjust their clocks for DST.
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