NPR logo A Time-Change Timeline

A Time-Change Timeline

Benjamin Franklin — shown in a 1783 engraving by Nathaniel Currier — is credited with advancing the concept of daylight-saving time. He wanted to save candles. MPI/Getty Images hide caption

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MPI/Getty Images

Benjamin Franklin — shown in a 1783 engraving by Nathaniel Currier — is credited with advancing the concept of daylight-saving time. He wanted to save candles.

MPI/Getty Images

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a declaration of war in 1941. "War Time," a variation on daylight-saving time, followed. Again the idea was to save fuel. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a declaration of war in 1941. "War Time," a variation on daylight-saving time, followed. Again the idea was to save fuel.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A Kuwait Oil Company drilling rig on the northern border with Iraq. Daylight-saving time is still about saving energy. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A Kuwait Oil Company drilling rig on the northern border with Iraq. Daylight-saving time is still about saving energy.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

1784: Ben Franklin writes a paper extolling the virtues of extending daylight in order to save candles.

1883: The U.S. and Canada listen to the cries of their railroad executives and adopt Standard Time.

1918: The U.S. establishes a daylight-saving time to run for seven months to conserve electricity during World War I. Once the war was over, the national law is dropped and daylight-saving time became a local option.

1942: During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt orders a year-round daylight-saving time, called "War Time," which runs for three years.

1944: For the next two decades, there is no national law. States and jurisdictions can choose whether to observe daylight-saving time and when to begin and end it.

1966: Congress passes the Uniform Time Act of 1966, establishing a beginning and end date for daylight-saving time, but leaves it up to local jurisdictions to decide whether to use it.

1973: Congress enacts the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act in response to the Arab oil embargo. Daylight-saving time is extended to eight months rather than the normal six. The Department of Transportation says the equivalent of 100,000 barrels of oil each day was saved.

1986: Daylight saving is moved from the last Sunday of April to the first Sunday of April. The end date is left the same.

1987: Chile delays its time change by one day to accommodate a papal visit.

2005: Congress passes the Energy Act of 2005 which starts daylight-saving time one month earlier in the spring and extends it one week later in the fall, beginning in 2007.