Farmers Never Wanted Daylight Saving Time

Farmers Never Wanted Daylight Saving Time

Why do we have daylight saving time? It's a popular theory that the concept was devised to give American farmers more daylight during harvest, but that's actually not the case. To save energy during wartime, President Woodrow Wilson proposed setting clocks back an hour in the fall, thereby giving people an extra hour of daylight when they wouldn't need to use electric lights. This was a boon for commercial interests, since office workers would have more daylight for shopping at the end of the day. But for farmers, this extra hour changed everything. It meant they couldn't work as quickly in the morning because the fields were covered in dew, and cows weren't ready to produce when the milk truck arrived. They disliked daylight saving time so much, in fact, that they pushed, successfully, for its repeal in 1919. That federal repeal turned daylight saving time from a broad national rule to a patchwork of state and local regulations, creating so many time differences that, according to History, "passengers on a 35-mile bus ride from Steubenville, Ohio, to Moundsville, West Virginia, passed through seven time changes." Finally, in 1966, the Uniform Time Act standardized daylight saving time for the United States yet again. Learn more about the origins of daylight saving time in the videos below.

Who Invented Daylight Saving Time?

It wasn't Benjamin Franklin.

07:32

Daylight Saving Time Explained

Here's why it happens.

06:40

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The original idea behind Daylight Saving Time was to give people another sunlit hour in the summer. (0:12)

  • 2

    People are less productive in the week following the Daylight Saving Time clock change. (3:33)

  • 3

    The state of Arizona ignores Daylight Saving Time, although the Navajo Nation within Arizona follows it. (5:06)

Why Does Daylight Saving Time Vary By Country?

We know why the U.S. does it. Does the rest of the world do it too?

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