When does the time change in 2020? Here's when daylight saving time begins and we 'fall back'
Daylight saving time is almost over, so get ready to "fall back."
The official time to turn your clock back an hour is 2 a.m. Sunday. After the change, the sun will rise in Delaware at about 6:30 a.m. and set at about 5 p.m., according to NOAA.
The amount of daylight will shorten each day until the winter solstice on December 21.
Daylight saving time begins again March 14, when clocks "spring forward."
Here are a few more things to know as the time change approaches.
Why do we switch to daylight saving time?
The main reason is to make better use of daylight during the spring and summer months, so there is an extra hour of sunlight in the evening instead of the morning.
After numerous changes to the dates, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 gave the U.S. its current start and stop dates for daylight saving time. It starts on the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November.
That gives most states about 7.5 months of daylight saving time and 4.5 months of standard time.
A common typo and mispronunciation
The correct spelling and pronunciation of the term is "daylight saving time," not "daylight savings time."
Who is in charge of daylight saving time?
Daylight saving time was first enacted by the federal government during World War I as a way to conserve coal. "Old time," as it was described in News Journal archives, was reinstated after about a year, but daylight saving time persisted in various forms on local and state levels until the federal government passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966.
Today, the Department of Transportation oversees daylight saving time. The agency cites many reasons for daylight saving time, including energy reduction and reduced crime.
A case against daylight saving time
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine in August released a statement saying public health and safety would benefit from eliminating daylight saving time.
The organization said standard time more closely aligns with the daily rhythms of the body's internal clock.
"Permanent, year-round time is the best choice to most closely match our circadian sleep-wake cycle," Public Safety Committee Vice Chair Dr. M. Adeel Rishi said in a statement. "Daylight saving time results in more darkness in the morning and more light in the evening disrupting the body's natural rhythm."
Not every state follows daylight saving time. Hawaii and most of Arizona opt out.
A slice of Delaware history
During the close to 50-year period between the introduction of daylight saving time and the passage of the Uniform Time Act, debates raged in Delaware over whether to observe daylight saving time.
In the early 1920s, Wilmington City Council adopted an ordinance that declared standard time would not be in effect from April to September, according to News Journal archives.
In response, the General Assembly passed legislation that banned daylight saving time in March 1923. An amendment making Wilmington an exception was voted down shortly before the legislation passed.
A month later, Wilmington City Council passed another ordinance, this time to "request" citizens observe daylight saving time between May and September. The movement was fueled by banks, shop owners and other industry groups that felt daylight saving time would help business.
Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Wilmington ran on "advanced time" to unofficially observe daylight saving time, according to News Journal archives.
Delaware finally became unified when daylight saving time went into effect universally as a war measure in February 1942, according to News Journal archives.