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Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday

This year, we turn the clocks back Nov. 1 at 2 a.m. We’ll get an extra hour of sleep, but we get less daylight.
Credit: stevanovicigor

SPOKANE, Wash — It’s the dreaded time of the year when Daylight Saving Time ends and we turn the clocks back an hour.

This year, we turn the clocks back Nov. 1 at 2 a.m. We’ll get an extra hour of sleep, but we get less daylight.  

When the time comes, the sun will set in Spokane at (we’re sorry) 4:31 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

Spokane will continue to lose several minutes of daylight per day until arriving at the shortest day of the year, Dec. 21, when the sun is expected to set exactly at 4 p.m.

So why do we do this? American politician and scientist, Ben Franklin is partially to blame.

He was the first person to hint at this idea in 1784. While working in Paris as an ambassador to the U.S. he wrote an essay titled "An Economical Project" to the editor of the Journal de Paris stating that Parisians would save a lot of money on candles if they woke up at the time of sunrise and went to bed as the sun set.

It wasn't until 1916, two years into the First World War, when DST was first implemented. Germany, one of the most powerful European countries at the time, decided to turn every clock in the country one hour ahead. Their goal was to minimize the use of artificial lighting so that fuel could be saved for war efforts. Soon after, other European countries -- including Austria, France and the United Kingdom -- followed suit.

In the U.S., however, this change took longer to arrive. In 1918, toward the end of the war, Pittsburgh-native Robert Garland introduced the idea after his visit to the U.K. After presenting the idea, it was signed and approved by President Wilson on March 8 of that same year.

Only seven months later, as the war came to a close, DST was repealed and wouldn't make a return until the Second World War, when it was reintroduced.

From the end of the war in 1945 up until 1966, there was no uniformity in the use of DST in the country, which caused quite a bit of confusion. Some major cities, like New York City, decided to keep DST while others stopped its use after the war.

This confusion came to an end in 1966, when the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was implemented by the U.S. Department of Transportation. This Act mandates the official start and end dates of DST in the country as March through November, and divides the country into different time zones.

Some states were not in favor of this law. Arizona -- with the exception of the Navajo territory -- and Hawaii opted out of DST.

Washington State voted to observe Daylight Saving Time year-round, which would keep Spokane's sunsets after 5 p.m. throughout the winter. However, the state needs congressional approval to fully make the switch. There's no timeline as to when that could happen.

Across the U.S., 36 other states have either passed or proposed bills to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, but as of right now, Arizona and Hawaii are the only states who use standard time.

Accuweather contributed to this report