Everything you thought you knew was wrong: Daylight Saving Time myths

KUSA - Here, we take a look at all the terrible truths about Daylight Saving Time (like the fact that it's Daylight Saving Time instead of daylight savings time):

-

BEN FRANKLIN

There's a few common refrains about Benjamin Franklin that aren't actually true: he did not want the U.S. National Bird to be a turkey, nor was his famous kite experiment anything like we learned about in school - and he did not come up with the idea for Daylight Saving Time.

Instead, that myth comes from a satirical essay he wrote basically suggesting the French should get to bed earlier  - but it was similar in scope.

The real creator of DST? Europeans. They instituted it during World War I - and then the U.S. followed suit in 1918, according to an investigation by Snopes.

Unsurprisingly, people hated it. It was discontinued in 1919 and not brought back to the U.S. until WWII as an effort to save electricity. If people didn't need to turn their lights on until an hour later than normal, that would save quite a bit of power for the nation.

During WWII, it was considered 'War-Time' and ran year-round.

After the war, different pockets all over the country either used DST or didn't, creating headaches for business people trying to work across the country.

So, in 1966, Congress made it uniform nationwide. It went through a couple iterations over the years, got changed in '86, then again in '05 to its current form.

For your records: DST starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

-

DST: The Superhero?

According to Market Insider, 74 percent of Americans hate want DST to end.

While most people want DST gone, are they aware it fights crime? A study put out by the Brookings Institute found that DST actually lowers robbery rates by 7 percent when we spring forward.

Apparently, giving more daylight to the evening hours deters thieves who want to act in darkness - who knew.

But that's not all: reported robberies fell by 27 percent during that extra hour of daylight over summer.

-

Americans mostly like DST

As referenced above, Market Insider took a look at a poll conducted by the aptly named EndDaylightSavingTime.org that found most Americans want DST to go - but they want the time change to stay.

Think about it: DST year-round, instead of just for the summer months. Then we don't have to worry about losing an hour of sleep come spring!

Political junkies will remember that this proposal was tried in Colorado - to put the state in what is essentially Central time year-round (meaning that the sun won't set at 4:53 p.m. anymore like it's about to on Sunday).

Ski resorts argued that their patrons would hate to lose that extra early morning hour and shipping companies argued it would make it harder - despite not actually losing an hour of daylight.

There's a small group of Coloradans fighting to get the proposal started again: Stop the Time Changes Colorado.

-

Daylight Saving Time was meant to help farmers

This should be obvious if you read above since we already explained it was started to save electricity. Farmers don't need the help. In fact, according to the Washington Post, the farming lobby actually kept it from becoming peacetime law until 1966.

Cows, apparently, hate the time change.

-

DST saves energy

Remember above when we said DST was started in war-time to save energy? California did a study recently that actually found out that's bunk.

DST saves... drumroll please... about 0.18 percent. The Atlantic, who first reported on the study, did so in an article titled "Daylight Saving Time Is America's Greatest Shame."

-

Finally: DST actually helps us be healthier

Of all the biggest crocks! No, it doesn't. There's been an avalanche of studies done on this - this one claims our kids hate it - this one claims it can lead to heart attacks - this one claims our sleep schedules never recover - on and on

© 2017 KUSA-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment