Scott Craven and Weldon B. Johnson
Daylight saving time 2021 starts at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 14.
Most everyone else in the United States lost an hour when they moved their clocks ahead. In Arizona, we don’t engage in such silliness because we don’t participate in daylight saving time.
It’s one of the few times we get to feel smug about how reasonable and rational we are compared to most of the country.
Feeling superior to most of the country is pretty much our favorite pastime from November through March because of the weather, but this daylight saving thing is something we can actually take credit for not having to deal with.
For Arizona it started in 1967, shortly after the U.S. adopted the Uniform Time Act, which set the guidelines for daylight saving time. Some wise Arizonans figured out there was no good reason to adjust our clocks to make sunset occur an hour later during the hottest months of the year.
We don’t want any more daylight, thanks
When you live in the desert, daylight is way overrated. In summer, anyway. Summer brings the kind of daylight surplus that results in plummeting demand. So no, we don’t want to save it. If we could, we’d ship it to the Southern Hemisphere. We’d trade it straight up for one 70-degree day in August. Just one.
If we moved to DST, summer sunsets would occur an hour later, prolonging our heat-based agony. If only someone would introduce the Daylight Spending Act, allowing us to move the clocks back an hour in May.
(Admittedly the earlier sunsets would also mean earlier sunrises, but the psychological effect could not be discounted.)
A part of Arizona does go with the time flow. The Navajo Nation makes the changes each year, ensuring that residents of the reservation (which spans three states) stay on the same schedule.
How daylight saving time affects Arizona
• Arizona is now three hours behind New York, two hours behind Chicago, one hour behind Denver and even with Los Angeles.
• Sporting events outside Arizona will start an hour earlier. That means you’ll be popping a beer at 10 a.m. when the next NFL game starts.
• Shows will start earlier on some cable TV networks. That’s assuming you still watch at the scheduled time rather than via DVR or streaming.
• Daylight saving time was ostensibly started to save energy, but it turned out people enjoyed having an extra hour of daylight after work. Except in Arizona.
• The Navajo Reservation observes daylight saving time; the Hopi Reservation does not. The Navajo Reservation surrounds the Hopi Reservation, so if you drive from Flagstaff to Gallup through Tuba City and Ganado, you’ll change time on four occasions.
• Western Indiana used to be even more confusing as some counties and cities observed daylight saving while others did not. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 put an end to that foolishness.
• Be happy that in 1905, the British roundly ignored builder William Willett’s proposal to push clocks ahead 20 minutes each Sunday in April and roll them back in similar increments in September.
• The first use of daylight saving dates to July 1908 in Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay), Canada. Despite the commercial possibilities, the city holds no daylight-saving parades nor sells “Birthplace of DST” shot glasses.
• The U.S. first adopted daylight saving time, called “Fast Time,” in 1918 in support of the war effort. It was repealed seven months later.
• On Feb. 9, 1942, Americans set their clocks an hour ahead and kept them there until Sept. 30, 1945. It was officially War Time, with zones reflecting the change (Arizona, for example, was on Mountain War Time).
• China may or may not manipulate its currency, but it does mess with the clock. Though spread over five time zones, China recognizes only one, Beijing time. It is supposed to promote unity, but tell that to those who live in the far west when the summer sun sets as late as midnight.
• If the U.S. observed the one-time-zone policy (Washington, D.C., time, of course), the summer sun in Arizona would set as late as 10:42 p.m. and weather-related crankiness would hit an all-time high.
• In 1991 and again in 2014, a few lawmakers floated the idea of having Arizona join the daylight saving parade. Republicans and Democrats were united in their rejection of such a proposal, offering brief and shining moments of true bipartisanship.
•The banning of the time-switch even has its own (albeit small) movement. Hoping to unite people behind #LocktheClock, the site dedicated to freezing time (sort of) tracks state legislation aimed at ending the spring-ahead, fall-back madness.
• Daylight saving time could be harmful to your health. A 2014 study led by the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center found the number of heart attacks goes up 24 percent on the Monday following the spring-forward. One theory is that the increased risk may be linked to that lost hour of sleep.
• More than 70 countries observe daylight saving time. No one is sure just how much daylight is saved, globally, each year, though physics indicates none.
• It is daylight saving time, not daylight savings time. So it is decreed by those who spend inordinate amounts of time policing words.(Update: It used to be daylight-saving time until earlier this year, when Associated Press style wizards largely banned the hyphen.)