Daylight saving time: The adjustment that can help you evade the draft, vote in the election and prove your innocence

By on November 1st, 2012

By Kelsey Meany – WUFT News

While students are out at the bars late Saturday night celebrating the Gator game, they may have something else to cheer for – one extra hour of sleep.

On Sunday at 2 a.m., daylight saving time ends, moving clocks back to 1 a.m., and giving you what feels like one more hour of sleep Monday morning.

So what exactly is this time shift and why does it matter?

Enacted in 1918, the law adopting the time change into U.S. culture was established. Daylight saving time has been used in the United States and many European countries since World War I, when it was meant to conserve fuel needed to produce power, according to National Geographic.

Now, the rationale is to make better use of daylight.

According to the interactive online museum WebExhibits, daylight saving time has had an extensive and noteworthy past, producing many incidents that are unforgettable.

Just a few:

  • During the Vietnam War, a man argued his birth had been recorded in standard time, not daylight saving time, when he was born in Delaware. He said under standard time he was technically born on the previous day, a day which had a much higher draft lottery number, and he successfully avoided going to war.
  • In 2007, a new law was implemented that moved daylight saying time to the first Sunday in November, so it would never again land on Halloween and trick-or-treaters could gather candy with more daylight.
  • Many have proposed that shifting the end of daylight saving time until after Election Day would increase voter turnout because people would be more likely to go to polls when it’s light out.
  • In California, a teen driver crashed a Chevrolet full of teenagers into a street median, killing one and injuring several others. When the teen, who claimed water from sprinklers made the road slippery, took the case to court, the outcome relied on whether or not the sprinklers’ timers had been adjusted to reflect a change in daylight saving time.
  • Finally, though two U.S. states, four U.S. territories and some parts around the world do not observe the time change, there are still many unknown facts about the time shift, according to US News and World Report. For example: notice it’s “saving” not “savings,” or there is a statistical spike in the number of heart attacks the first week of daylight saving time.

Most people probably don’t know (or care) that Benjamin Franklin was one of the first Americans credited to advocate for daylight saving time. Instead, they enjoy those last few occasions to wake up in the early morning darkness before sunlight begins to shine into windows — far before it’s time to leave bed.

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