Feb. 9, 1942 – Introduction of Daylight Savings Time
President Roosevelt instituted year-round Daylight Saving Time, called War Time,” on February 9, 1942, as an effort to conserve resources and spur production. The country reverted to standard time on September 30, 1945, leaving states and localities the option of observing it or not.
Daylight Saving Time was first used in the U.S. in World War I. Germany and Austria adopted it in 1916 and it quickly spread to other European countries. The U.S. did not formally adopt it until 1918 when federal legislation both established standard time zones and set summer DST to begin on March 31. After the war ended, the law proved so unpopular that it was repealed in 1919. DST became a local option and was continued in a few Eastern states.
The idea of daylight saving was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin while he was an American delegate in Paris in 1784, in a humorous and whimsical essay entitled “An Economical Project.”