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Time to spring forward

Time: Most U.S. residents must turn clocks ahead one hour

Posted: March 12, 2010 10:18 p.m.
Updated: March 13, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Daylight-saving time starts Sunday morning as the 2 a.m. hour disappears, leaving in its wake the groans of those who would have enjoyed the extra hour of weekend rest.

The March clock-setting ritual is the less popular counterpart to the one in November, in which most people get an extra hour of sleep.

In the United States, daylight-saving was extended in 2007, now running from 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March to 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November. Hawaii and Arizona are the only two states to ignore daylight-saving altogether.

Ben Franklin was a fan of the idea during his Paris days in 1784. Imagine, he wrote to a newspaper, how many candles could be saved if people woke up earlier in the warmer months. He jokingly proposed taxing window shutters, rationing candles or firing cannons at dawn to "wake the sluggards and open their eyes to their true interest."

But the idea of moving clocks forward in summer didn't come to fruition until World War I, when Germany acted on the notion that natural light could replace the artificial kind, saving fuel for the war effort, said David Prerau, who wrote "Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time."

Now, about 70 countries observe daylight saving in one form or another, at one time or another, affecting well over 1 billion people, Prerau said.

"Most people like it," he said. "It's generally popular. They find the extra hour is much more usable if it occurs in the evening than in the morning, and it doesn't cost a dime."


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