The year 2023 feels like it is moving at light speed and an important spring milestone is only a week away.
Daylight saving time (DST) comes on Sunday, March 12. At 2 a.m. eastern time, the clock will officially jump ahead by an hour, advancing to 3 a.m.
The time change next Sunday will result in the first sunset after 7 p.m. The sun will set at 7:25 p.m. next week and from now until June 16 the length of the day will increase by 3 hours and 41 minutes.
Here are some additional future milestones related to longer days:
FIRST 12 HOUR DAY: March 17
FIRST 13 HOUR DAY: April 8
FIRST 8 PM SUNSET: April 13
14 HOURS OF DAYLIGHT: May 2
LONGEST DAY: June 21 (15 hours and eight minutes of daylight)
Unfortunately, the time change also means that the sun will rise later in the day by an hour. Sunday, the sun rose at 6:50 a.m. and this will not happen again until April 11.
What is the history of daylight saving time?
While the official DST legislation did not take effect in the U.S. until 1918, humans have been adjusted their schedule to the length of day since ancient times.
Due to the fact that the amount of daylight varies depending on the time of year, ancient civilizations would adjust the length of a daylight “hour” to assist with the work day. For example, during the summer, a daylight hour would be longer to one in the winter time.
The Romans kept clocks that had different scales for the different times of the year. In 1810, the Spanish National Assembly moved up meeting times by one hour during the period between May 30 and September 30.
The official idea of DST was proposed by New Zealand entomologist (a type of scientist who focuses on the study of insects) in 1895 because he wanted more daylight time after his shift-work job to collect more insects. Who would have thought a scientist who studies insects would want more daylight to study insects?
The first city in the world to implement DST was Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada on July 1, 1908. Several German states adopted DST on April 30, 1916 and it was officially adopted in the United States in 1918 with the passing of the Standard Time Act.
However, a large part of Arizona and all of Hawaii do not observe DST whatsoever. Arizona loosely applied DST in the state until 1968 when most locations decided to return to standard time.
Hawaii has never observed daylight saving time due in large part to less variation in daylight given the fact that the island state is closer to the equator
Technically, whether to observe DST or not is up to each individual state and there are some states that have recently proposed to always be on DST.
Regardless of the proposed legislation, the time will shift a week from today and those days will get longer! Warmer weather is on the way!