Daily Kos: Daylight saving time: “The clock shift was originally designed to create more leisure time. William Willett, the British architect and golfer who came up with the idea in 1907, wanted to stuff more light into the day so people could play games after work. But it took a war for his proposal to become reality: Germany adopted daylight time during World War I to save fuel; the U.S. and Britain quickly matched the enemy’s move.
Ever since, changes in time laws have been driven primarily by war and energy crises. FDR called daylight time ‘war time.’ (Woodrow Wilson caved to farmers and reverted to what the farmers called ‘God’s time.’) During the 1970s energy crisis, and again in 1986, the prospect of fuel savings won expansions of daylight time. This time, Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, teamed up with Republican Fred Upton of Michigan to get daylight time started yet another few weeks earlier, again with the expectation that the move would save oil.
Of course, if we were really serious about conserving energy, dozens of other moves would do so far more efficiently, but if that’s the excuse politicians need to improve life in a single stroke, so be it. In Britain, Parliament is considering a move to adopt daylight time in the winter and double daylight time in summer. In Washington, that would mean a 9:40 p.m. sunset in late June. Ahhhhh.”