The Pony Express

Daylight Saving Time begins

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What perfect timing for college students! Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m., Sunday, March 11, the day before Spring Break. The idea of changing the clocks to start the day when the sun comes up is not new. Benjamin Franklin proposed the concept in the 1700s. It was first adopted during World War I as an energy saving tool to conserve fuel for the war effort.

In 1918 President Woodrow Wilson signed into law a “Fast Time” bill, but it was repealed a few months later. In 1942, as the U.S. was entering World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt mandated the return of Daylight Saving Time. Once the war ended, various states used DST while others did not, a situation that caused confusion for transportation, media and other corporate organizations, according to TimeAndDate.com.

From 1966 through 2006, Congress continued to tinker with DST. The current schedule, introduced in 2007, states that DST starts on the second Sunday in March, and ends on the first Sunday in November.

More than 70 countries around the world use DST, and their schedules for implementation vary. In the U.S., Arizona and Hawaii opted out of participation in DST. The continental United States spans four time zones: Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific.

While many electronic devices with internal clocks are programmed to automatically change the time according to the current DST rules, some, including many vehicle clocks, do not. Citing the confusion surrounding the practice of changing clocks twice a year, writer Allison Schrager proposed in 2013 that the U.S. needs to abandon the practice. She further proposed combining the current four time zones into just two — an Eastern and a Western time zone for the continental United States.

Nicholas Wells, writing for CNBC.com, said that the Spring Forward weekend creates disruption in financial markets, noting that since 2007, the S&P 500 dropped an average of 0.24 percent after the spring time change.

Whether you agree with the system or not, Panola College students will have the week of Spring Break to get used to the new time change. When their alarms go off on Monday, March 19, maybe that loss of an extra hour of sleep won’t be so hard to take.

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