Why Arizona doesn’t observe daylight saving time Scott Craven

As the nation moves clocks forward Sunday, Arizona stands pat. That means more time to check out daylight-saving trivia


On Sunday, March 12, America moves its clocks forward in an effort to save daylight.

But not here in Arizona. Clocks will remain untouched as daylight-saving time officially starts. The Grand Canyon State is just fine where it is as the nation springs ahead.

That’s because we already have plenty of daylight. And when temperatures climb above 100, we’ll wish there was daylight-spending time, urging the world to spin faster and return to the more comfortable dark side of Earth.

For a half century, Arizona (not including the Navajo reservation) has refused to perform the standard-to-daylight-saving-and-back-again dance. In 1968, the state Legislature decided it was best for Arizona to opt out of the Uniform Time Act of 1966, which mandated the saving of daylight.

The move meant that on 115-degree days in July, the sun would set at 7:40 p.m. rather than 8:40 p.m., avoiding nightly pleas from your kids to stay up later because it’s too bright (and hot) to go to bed.

Most of Arizona has remained a loyal Mountain Standard Time state ever since. As a result, it’s singled out on the time-setting sub-menus for phones and other smart devices. While the rest of the 48 contiguous states are lumped into time zones, the Grand Canyon State stands alone. #locktheclock

Daylight-saving facts

Daylight saving was ostensibly started to save energy, but it turned out people enjoyed having an extra hour of daylight after work. But not in Arizona, where sunlight only extends the heat-related misery.

• The Navajo Reservation observes daylight saving time, the Hopi Reservation does not. The Navajo Reservation surrounds the Hopi Reservation, so if on Monday 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, leaving Arizona as the only two-timing state, so to speak.

• 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 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.

• In 2016, California legislators were nearly unanimous against a measure stopping the move to daylight-saving time. One reason cited: Those in the financial industry didn’t want to be four hours behind New York. But don’t most New Yorkers think everybody else is at least four hours behind?

• A Nebraska legislator recently introduced a bill to end daylight saving time, citing health problems caused by setting the clock ahead. The state’s golf industry teed off, saying the loss of post-work daylight would put it in the weeds.

• More than 70 countries observe daylight-saving time. No one is sure just how much daylight is saved, globally, each year, though physics suggests none.

It is daylight-saving time, not daylight-savings time. So it is decreed by those who spend inordinate amounts of time policing words.

Published: March 6, 2017






About Katherine Wacker

Katherine Wacker is currently a reviewer for Bethany House Publishers, and Howard Books. She is a Craftsman graduate of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild. She holds a B.A in History from San Diego State-Imperial Valley Campus. In her spare time she likes to read books, watch sports, and do jigsaw puzzles. She lives at home with her parents and three dogs, Charlie, Roscoe and Daisy.
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