It’s almost time to ‘fall back’ — but why do we still observe daylight saving time?

The clocks will change once again, as we “fall back” from daylight savings time to standard time.
Published: Oct. 29, 2023 at 12:38 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 30, 2023 at 9:10 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - On Nov. 5, Georgians will turn their clocks back by an hour, ending daylight saving time. In March, the cycle will begin again as most of the country “springs forward” an hour.

But where did the tradition come from — and why do we still do it?

When did daylight saving time start?

Daylight saving time actually began in Germany in 1916. The country hoped it would help conserve fuel during World War I. Two years later, the U.S. passed the Standard Time Act, which established the five time zones and also implemented daylight saving time during the war.

Daylight saving time was repealed a year and a half later, although it returned in 1942 for World War II. But it wasn’t until 1966 that the policy was permanently enacted under the Uniform Time Act.

Which states don’t have daylight saving time?

Hawaii and most of Arizona — except for the Navajo Nation — don’t recognize daylight saving time. Neither do several territories, like Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This is often due to the locations’ close proximity to the equator, meaning the sun tends to rise and set consistently across seasons.

Do other countries have daylight saving time?

Some do, but not all.

According to Statista, less than 40% of countries currently have daylight saving time, although more than 140 did at some point. Other countries with daylight saving time include Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom and Poland.

Does Georgia recognize daylight saving time?

Yes, despite the state’s best efforts.

In 2021, Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill to enact daylight saving time, or the “spring forward” time, year-round. But under the Uniform Time Act, that can’t happen without Congress’ permission.

Georgia isn’t alone. More than a dozen other states, including the neighboring states of Florida, Alabama and Tennessee, have also passed legislation to toss the time change.

In 2021, the U.S. Senate approved the Sunshine Protection Act, which fought to make daylight saving time the new standard. It died in the House.

Only time will tell if Americans will keep turning their clocks back and forth each year.