The notion of Daylight Saving Time (DST) is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, who proposed rising an hour earlier in order to conserve candles, but it didn't take root until World War II, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt started what he called "War Time” in an effort to save resources. According to timeanddate.com, the law, which was in effect from 1942 to 1945, "was enforced 40 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and during this time, time zones were called 'Eastern War Time,' 'Central War Time' and 'Pacific War Time.'
After the surrender of Japan in mid-August 1945, the time zones were relabeled 'Peace Time.' " But mass confusion ensued because states and municipalities were able to opt in or out — until the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was passed. It's still not mandatory, but all states except Arizona and Hawaii participate. More than 70 countries worldwide have adapted their own versions, as well.
Starting in 2007, most of the United States and Canada observe DST from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November, almost two-thirds of the year. The 2007 U.S. change was part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005; previously, from 1987 through 2006, the start and end dates were the first Sunday in April and the last Sunday in October.
Some experts contend the time shift not only is pointless in the modern age, but could actually be harmful. A California Energy Commission report maintains that little — if any — energy benefit is actually gained by the switch to DST. ABC News has reported that the annual changes back and forth mess with people's internal clocks and can lower work productivity. And the New England Journal of Medicine has asserted that the time shifts can increase chances of a heart attack.
As we turn our clocks ahead one hour -- standard practice is to do so before turning in on Saturday night — officials advise us to take a few minutes and also change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This way, we can bask in sunlight and safety this spring.
As for the local weather forecast, temperatures for the next several days will range from highs in the 30 to lows in the 20s.
Today, the sun will rise at 6:50:23 a.m. and set at 6:31:06 p.m.
On Saturday, the sun will rise at 6:48:45 a.m. and set at 6:32:14 p.m.
Here is the Norwalk-area forecast from the National Weather Service:
Today - Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33. West wind 11 to 14 mph.
Tonight - Partly cloudy, with a low around 22. West wind 3 to 8 mph.
Saturday - Mostly sunny, with a high near 36. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Saturday night - Partly cloudy, with a low around 23.
Sunday - Mostly sunny, with a high near 37.
Sunday night - Partly cloudy, with a low around 25.
Monday - A chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 37. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.
Monday night - Mostly cloudy, with a low around 25.
Tuesday - A chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 34. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.
Tuesday night - Mostly cloudy, with a low around 23.
Wednesday - Partly sunny, with a high near 38.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Jessica Damiano of Newsday (TNS) contributed to this story.