By Rob Halberg

Arizona is the only mainland state that does not change clocks twice a year to accommodate, “Daylight Savings Time” (DST). So it doesn’t directly affect us, but it does cause some inconveniences. For example, calling relatives may be a little harder as by 6:00 pm our time when it’s already 9:00 pm on the east coast. You also need to watch the closing times for businesses in other states.

So what is the history and purpose of DST? It was first adopted by Port Arthur, a city in Canada, in 1908. Some Canadian cities followed but it was in 1916 when two countries fully adopted it. Germany and Austria changed their clocks to minimize lighting costs and save fuel for World War I. The United Kingdom and France followed a few weeks later. Countries switched back after WWI but adopted it again for WWII. President Roosevelt made it all year round until the end of the war. From 1945 until 1966, DST was an option open to cities and states.

What a mess! You could have multiple time zones for each city in every state. In 1966, the Uniform Time Act was adopted which mandated DST except in states that exempted themselves. Since then, DST dates have been extended resulting in an additional five weeks of time.

In 2015 to 2019 there have been several bills to make DST all year round. But in 2021, a bill has been introduced to eliminate it! So as we watch in amusement as the rest of the country struggles to change their clocks, there may be changes in the future.

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