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STANDARD TIME RETURNS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4th

October 30, 2012

On Sunday, November 4th at 2:00 A.M., remember to move your clocks back one hour and “gain” an extra hour. Otherwise, you may be arriving to work on Monday morning a bit early.

Every year, during late Winter we move our clocks one hour ahead and “lose” an hour during the night and begin what we call “Daylight Saving Time” and each Fall we move our clocks back one hour and back to “Standard Time.”  And if you’ve gone to grade school in any country over the past half century that practices Daylight Saving Time, you may remember the famous mnemonic phrase “Spring forward, Fall back” which helps us to remember how to adjust our clocks.

Daylight Saving Time or DST was originally thought of by Benjamin Franklin. The idea was widely ignored, however, because by the time Franklin came up with DST he was getting on in years. And his peers mostly viewed him as delusional because he had a habit of flying kites during thunderstorms and going around uttering nonsense  like “A penny saved is a penny earned.”  It wouldn’t be for more than another one hundred years after Franklin died when the idea behind DST was finally put into practice with the onset of both World Wars I and II. However, after both wars, DST was cast aside until finally in 1966 it picked up a great deal of traction through the Uniform Time Act. This Act standardized the start and end dates for daylight saving time but allowed individual states to remain on standard time if their legislatures allowed it.

And if you think that you are vaguely feeling that there was some change in the last few years in the timing of when DST started and ended, you’re correct. The U.S. government announced a major change in DST around mid-2005. The change had to do with an energy bill that Congress passed that included extending DST. As of 2007, DST officially begins on the second Sunday of March and ends on the  first Sunday of November.

Not everyone in the U.S. uses DST.   Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas never made the switch to DST in March.  They remain on Standard Time year round.

Enjoy your extra hour of sleep next Sunday!