If you’re someone who hates when it gets dark early, you’ll be relieved to know Daylight Saving Time is coming earlier this year. It starts on March 11th – nearly two weeks before the first day of Spring. But don’t do the happy dance, yet. Your PC doesn’t know, and neither do the computers that run the airlines or the trains or just about anything else. What does this mean for business? We asked CNBC’s Margaret Brennan.
The idea of saving daylight was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin who wanted people to get up earlier and save wax by not burning candles at night. (Historians debate whether he was being serious or satirical.) It wasn't until 1916, however, that Daylight Saving Time was first put into practice by the Germans, likely to increase productivity as WWI dragged on longer than expected. In 1918 Congress placed the USA on Daylight Saving Time but it was so widely disliked they repealed the legislation, and didn't introduce it again until WWII.
By 1966, about 100 million Americans were observing Daylight Saving Time through their own state or local laws. Congress then decided to step in, and establish one standard across the country. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 created Daylight Saving Time, then in 1986 the law was modified to make it longer.
"From the beginning the reason we extended daylight saving was retail sales profited," said Michael Downing a professor at Tufts University. “In 1986 the last time we extended the period… the golf industry said it was worth $200 million.”