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Gazette Premium Content Voice of the reader: Hey, did we lose an hour or gain one?

By Barry Noreen Updated: November 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Have you adjusted to the change from daylight saving time?

Some people don't like the notion of springing forward or falling back. We have trouble agreeing about the definitions: When you wake at 7 a.m. and it's really 6 a.m., did you lose an hour or gain one?

Perhaps that depends upon whether you are a morning person or a night owl. Anyhow, we've gone through that change yet again.

How did it all begin?

It was in the name of national security.

Germany and Austria started all the fuss in 1916. In an effort to save fuel and electric power during World War I, they switched to daylight saving time, springing forward, as it were.

England, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, Tasmania, Nova Scotia and Manitoba quickly followed suit. America joined the rest in March 1918.

After the war, DST was unpopular with many Americans, largely because people awoke earlier and went to bed earlier than we do now.

Thus, it was repealed by Congress in 1919 and states were allowed to decide whether to retain it.

World War II brought the return of daylight saving time, then called War Time, from February 1942 to September 1945.

It returned in 1966, but there was a confusing mish-mash in which different states and even individual towns chose whether to invoke daylight saving time, and chose different times of year to schedule it.

That caused problems, especially for the broadcasting industry, railways, airlines and bus companies.

Again as an energy-saving strategy, President Richard Nixon signed the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act of 1973. The next October, Congress amended the law and Standard Time returned.

Daylight saving time resumed Feb. 23, 1975, and ended Oct. 26, 1975, that year.

This year, it began on March 10 and ended Nov. 3.

While the nation remains united, most of Arizona does not observe daylight saving time.

The Navajo Nation, which includes parts of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, does observe it.

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Contact Barry Noreen at 636-0363 or barry.noreen@gazette.com.

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