Spring ahead, fall back. That’s the saying, right?
This year, 2020, we set our clocks ahead one hour on Sunday morning, March 8, 2020 at 2:00 am.
That goes for most locations in the United States, where by law, time marches forward by one hour every spring, then goes back one hour in the fall.
So if you stay up late on Saturday night into the early hours of Sunday then you might as well turn your clocks back before you hit the sack for the night.
Official Time Change Info:
March 2020 U.S. Time Change:
Set Clocks Ahead One Hour:
Sunday, March 8, 2:00 am
What is Daylight Savings Time?
Why is this on a legal blog? As with so many things now the law dictates this aspect of our lives. A 2005 act of Congress, “The U.S. Energy Policy Act”, required moving clocks ahead the second weekend of March each year, launching the country into Daylight Savings Time. The same law requires turning the clocks back in the fall, ending Daylight Savings Time, every year on the first weekend of November. Before this Congressional action, annual time changes usually occurred in October and sometimes varied by state.
An old tale pins responsibility for Daylight Savings time on Benjamin Franklin. The founding father coined the phrase: “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. The advice originally appeared in Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac.
Apparently the tale giving Franklin actual credit for the time changes is, like many stories, only a myth. Europeans started their own version of Daylight Savings Time during World War One as a means to economize use of fuel.
Who doesn’t Follow Daylight Savings Time?
Turning the clocks back applies most everywhere in the USA withe the exception of Hawaii and Arizona. Those two states refuse to embrace daylight savings time so they did not set the clocks ahead in the spring, and there’s no need to set them back in the fall.
Florida’s House and Senate voted to permanently get rid of the practice of setting the clocks ahead and then back again and the governor signed the bill into law in March 2018. However, Congressional action is required authorizing Florida’s exemption from something called the Uniform Time Act of 1966. Congress has not approved Florida’s action so the state is still with the mostly national practice.
Lawmakers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire considered proposals to get rid of Daylight Savings time. The bills have largely been kicked back for further study, while each state watched what lawmakers in the other one does.
Who Doesn’t Fall Back?
Arizona and Hawaii at present represent the only U.S. states not going along with turning the clocks ahead in spring, back in fall. Puerto Rico and most of the overseas territories including Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands also refuse to recognize Daylight Savings adjustments to the clock, The U.S. Energy Act extended Daylight Savings time in part to reduce energy consumption. But a report by the Department of Energy itself found an energy savings of only .03%, three one hundredths of one percent, in the first year of the law. In other areas energy consumption actually went up, notably in Indiana, where an increase of 1% was noted.
With the internet and social media things can get confusing. The Southern Hemisphere observes opposite time switches, going back an hour when the northern hemisphere goes forward and vice versa. So, anyone with Facebook or other social media friends who live south of the equator may see contrary posts.
Don’t be confused.
Does Anyone Still Physically Turn Clocks Back?
Digital devices like smart phones, computers, cable TV boxes, and other gadgets and gizmos automatically adjust for the twice-annual time shifts. Only older devices like battery or plug in clocks actually require a physical adjustment one way or the other, depending on the time of year. Older cars also have time displays requiring a manual setting change.
Photo: The clock shown in this article is the Ayer Mill clock in Lawrence Massachusetts. The Ayer Mill Clock Tower is the largest mill clock in the world. According to the Essex County (Massachusetts) Community Foundation, the four large clock faces are only 6 inches smaller than Big Ben in London. Ayer Mill, on Merrimack Street, Lawrence, is 1.4 miles west of the North Andover location of the Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers.