KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Daylight Saving Time — the time of year when people enjoy a little more sun (and a little extra vitamin D) is coming to an end.
On Sunday, Nov. 3, most of the United States switches back to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m. Clocks will be set back one hour — meaning you’ll get more sleep, but will experience less sunlight, at least until the second Sunday in March when clocks are adjusted again. Most people remember this tinkering of the clocks by the phrase, “spring forward, fall back.” So remember to set your clocks back before you go to bed Saturday night.
However not everyone takes part in the bi-annual time change. Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and most of Arizona, excluding the Navajo Indian territories, do not observe DST.
While no federal rule mandates that states or territories observe DST, those who do are required to follow a federal law — first passed in 1918 — that sets the date and time of when clocks are adjusted. This is to keep time synchronized. In the heydays of the railroad, setting organized time kept people and production chugging along at a more systematic pace.
During World War II the U.S. made daylight saving time mandatory for the whole country, as a way to save wartime resources. Between February 9, 1942, and September 30, 1945, DST was observed year-round, becoming the new standard time.
Since the end of World War II, daylight saving time has always been optional for U.S. states. But its beginning and end have shifted—and occasionally disappeared.
So why the tinkering of the clocks? According to Bill Mosley, a public affairs officer at the U.S. Department of Transportation, it’s to “adjust daylight hours to when most people are awake and about.”
Daylight Saving Time (when you spring forward one hour) decreases daylight morning hours, making more daylight available in the evening. But come Nov. 3, when DST ends, the sun in Kansas City will set around 5:15 p.m.