It’s Jewel Day (the gemstone kind).
Unfortunately, I can’t find anyone handing out free samples. Which is just as well because (as with so many things) it’s hard to stop with just one.
It’s also the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. This is the one where we lose an hour. Which is sad. And no matter how hard you look, you won’t get it back until the fall (believe me, I’ve tried all sorts of ways to find it).
The official term is “Daylight Saving Time,” and not “Daylight Savings Time.”
Once upon a time, there was no such thing as Daylight Saving Time (hard to imagine, but true). Then Benjamin Franklin (Ben was the 15th child in the family and they’d run low on names by then so he doesn’t have a middle one) was visiting Paris. He wasn’t allowed to fly kites there (lightening strikes were considered pre-existing conditions by the insurance plans) so he sat around thinking deep thoughts, subtly making fun of the French for being lazy, and wondering how he could further confound people’s biological clocks. (Life Lesson: Never deprive influential people of their kites.)
In 1784, Ben wrote an essay in which he first suggested Daylight Saving Time. Some of his French Amis were delightfully taken with the idea (they obviously missed the subtlety) so it was completely ignored.
There are (according to My Friend the Internet), several possible people who might take credit for seriously advancing (get it? advancing? Ha!) the idea of Daylight Saving Time. It might have been a bug collector. Or maybe not.
Fast forward to 1907, when William Willett of London, England, suggested that clocks be advanced 20 minutes each of four Sundays in April and set back 20 minutes each of four Sundays in September. This was such a ridiculous idea that it was seriously considered.
Countries located near the equator do not observe DST, as the daylight hours there do not vary with the seasons.
In 1916 Germany officially adopted DST to conserve coal during WWI. The British liked the idea so much they immediately adopted it.
Confusion followed. So did a bunch of great excuses for being late.
It took a while for the concept to cross the pond, and in 1918 the US launched DST as an energy-saving practice.
After WWs I and II, we ditched the idea (remember, back then there weren’t cable boxes and cell phones that automatically updated) until the 1970s when we pretty much ran out of energy. DST was officially mandated to save energy in the winter.
But get this: Daylight Saving Time only saves energy if you go outside to enjoy the extra daylight. Otherwise, we just spend money on energy for things like lighting, heating, air conditioning, and Netflix.
The Uniform Time Act of 1966 established the system of uniform DST throughout the U.S.
Also, it turns out that changing time is not good for human health. You’d think one hour wouldn’t be a big deal. You’d be wrong. It’s a big, honkin’ deal. Incidents of heart attacks, strokes, car crashes, bad test scores, grumpiness, and general illness go up when the time changes (in either direction).
(You got sick a week early. Face it, you’re a trend setter.)
Feel better and don’t forget to set all your clocks.