Sunday, March 8, 2009

Daylight Saving Time

If you haven't moved your clocks ahead an hour already you are probably going to be late to church or other important appointments this morning.

The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time (called "Summer Time" in many places in the world) is to make better use of daylight. We change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. Countries have different change dates.

Near the equator, day and night are nearly the same length (12 hours). But elsewhere on Earth, there is much more daylight in the summer than in the winter. The closer you live to the North or South Pole, the longer the period of daylight in the summer. Thus, Daylight Saving Time (Summer Time) is usually not helpful in the tropics, and countries like Tanzania, near the equator do not change their clocks.

The time difference between Mwanza and Kansas City is now 8 hours during DST.

The idea of daylight saving was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin (portrait at right) during his sojourn as an American delegate in Paris in 1784, in an essay, "An Economical Project." Click here to learn more about Franklin's essay and Daylight Saving Time.

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