Sunday, November 6, 2011
at 2AM is the time to set clocks back one hour in North America.
It was in the early 20th century when Germany became the country that first adopted daylight saving time, which was quickly followed by several other European countries.
Today, more than 70 nations around the world use DST to take advantage of longer summer hours by setting clocks ahead in spring and back in the fall.
The observance of daylight saving time (more commonly known in various parts of the U.S. as "daylight savings time") remains controversial. Soon after it was enacted, American farmers actually had daylight saving time repealed in favor of "God's time" and, although the movement was short-lived, in many rural areas the sentiment remains.
Notable exceptions to DST occurred during World War II, and later during the 1970's Arab Oil Embargo, when daylight saving time was rolled back to help conserve energy consumption.
New US legislation took effect in 2007, allowing Americans to enjoy more daylight beginning in March and ending in November, adding extra days to the traditional April-October daylight saving time span.
Today, the observance serves a dual purpose in that it also marks the time to change the batteries in household fire and smoke alarms in many communities.
Bucking tradition, the sun-drenched states of Arizona and Hawaii are the only places in the continental U.S. that still do not observe daylight saving time, but instead stay on "standard time" year round.