The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a reminder this week that Daylight Saving Time will begin at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 11, three weeks earlier than in recent years.
Prior to this year, daylight saving time has been observed from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. As a result of legislation enacted by Congress in 2005, beginning this year Daylight Saving Time will begin the second Sunday of March and end the first Sunday of November. As a result, this year Daylight Saving Time will run from March 11 to Nov. 4.
When Daylight Saving Time begins, clocks will be set ahead one hour, providing an additional hour of daylight in the evening.
Federal law does not require any area to observe daylight saving time. But if a state chooses to observe Daylight Saving Time, it must follow the starting and ending dates set by the law. In those parts of the country that do not observe daylight time, no resetting of clocks is required. Those states and territories include Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.
Daylight saving time is a change in the standard time of each time zone. Time zones were first used in the United States in 1883 by the railroads to standardize their schedules. In 1918, Congress made the railroad zones official under federal law and assigned the responsibility for any changes that might be needed to the Interstate Commerce Commission. In the Uniform Time Act of 1966, Congress established uniform dates for daylight saving time and transferred responsibility for the time laws to the U.S. Department of Transportation.