Daylight Saving Time 2021: When Does the Time Change?

When Does Daylight Saving Time End This Year?

September 28, 2021
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Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 7, 2021, at 2:00 A.M. At this time, clocks will “fall back” one hour, giving us more daylight in the dark autumn and winter mornings. See details about the history of “saving daylight” and why we still observe DST today. Plus, let us know what you think!

What Is Daylight Saving Time?

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of moving the clocks forward one hour from Standard Time during the summer months and changing them back again in the fall. The general idea is that this allows us all to make better use of natural daylight: moving the clocks forward one hour in the spring grants us more daylight during summer evenings, while moving clocks back one hour in the fall grants us more daylight during winter mornings. However, DST has many detractors—and rightfully so! (Read more about this below.)

When Is Daylight Saving Time This Year? When Does the Time Change?

Daylight Saving Time always begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. To remember which way to set their clocks, folks often use the expression, “spring forward, fall back.” (Note that these dates are for locations in the United States and Canada only; other countries may follow different dates!)

  • Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 2:00 A.M. On Saturday night, clocks are set forward one hour (i.e., losing one hour) to “spring forward.” 
  • Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 7, 2021, at 2:00 A.M. On Saturday night, clocks are set back one hour (i.e., gaining one hour) to “fall back.”

Note: Since the time changes at 2:00 A.M., we generally change our clocks before bed on Saturday.

Daylight Saving Time Dates

Year Daylight Saving Time Begins Daylight Saving Time Ends
2021 Sunday, March 14 at 2:00 A.M. Sunday, November 7 at 2:00 A.M.
2022 Sunday, March 13 at 2:00 A.M. Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 A.M.
2023 Sunday, March 12 at 2:00 A.M. Sunday, November 5 at 2:00 A.M.
2024 Sunday, March 10 at 2:00 A.M. Sunday, November 3 at 2:00 A.M.

Note: In the U.S., exceptions to DST are Arizona (except for the Navajo Nation), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.

Is it Daylight “Saving” or “Savings” Time?

The correct term is “Daylight Saving Time“ and not “Daylight Savings Time” (with an extra “s”), though many of us are guilty of saying it the wrong way. The technical explanation is that the word “saving” is singular because it acts as part of an adjective rather than a verb.

The History of Daylight Saving Time

Why Did Daylight Saving Time Start? 

Should be blame Ben? Benjamin Franklin’s “An Economical Project,” written in 1784, is the earliest known proposal to “save” daylight. It was whimsical in tone, advocating laws to compel citizens to rise at the crack of dawn to save the expense of candlelight:

Every morning, as soon as the Sun rises, let all the bells in every church be set ringing: and if that is not sufficient, let cannon be fired in every street to wake the sluggards effectually… . Oblige a man to rise at four in the morning, and it is probable that he will go willingly to bed at eight in the evening.”

DST’s True Founder? 

The first true proponent of Daylight Saving Time was an Englishman named William Willet. A London builder, he conceived the idea while riding his horse early one morning in 1907. He noticed that the shutters of houses were tightly closed even though the Sun had risen. In “The Waste of Daylight,” the manifesto of his personal light-saving campaign, Willet wrote, “Everyone appreciates the long, light evenings. Everyone laments their shrinkage as the days grow shorter; and nearly everyone has given utterance to a regret that the nearly clear, bright light of an early morning during Spring and Summer months is so seldom seen or used… . That so many as 210 hours of daylight are, to all intents and purposes, wasted every year is a defect in our civilization. Let England recognise and remedy it.”

Willet spent a small fortune lobbying businessmen, members of Parliament, and the U.S. Congress to put clocks ahead 20 minutes on each of the four Sundays in April, and reverse the process on consecutive Sundays in September. But his proposal was met mostly with ridicule. One community opposed it on moral grounds, calling the practice the sin of “lying” about true time.

World War I Led to Adoption of DST

Attitudes changed after World War I broke out. The government and citizenry recognized the need to conserve coal used for heating homes. The Germans were the first to officially adopt the light-extending system in 1915, as a fuel-saving measure during World War I. This led to the introduction in 1916 of British Summer Time: From May 21 to October 1, clocks in Britain were put an hour ahead.

The United States followed in 1918, when Congress passed the Standard Time Act, which established the time zones. However, this was amidst great public opposition. A U.S. government Congressional Committee was formed to investigate the benefits of Daylight Saving Time. Many Americans viewed the practice as an absurd attempt to make late sleepers get up early. Others thought that it was unnatural to follow “clock time” instead of “Sun time.” A columnist in the Saturday Evening Post offered this alternative: “Why not ‘save summer’ by having June begin at the end of February?”

WWI-era Daylight Saving Postcard

The matter took on new meaning in April 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson declared war. Suddenly, energy conservation was of paramount importance, and several efforts were launched to enlist public support for changing the clocks. A group called the National Daylight Saving Convention distributed postcards showing Uncle Sam holding a garden hoe and rifle, turning back the hands of a huge pocket watch. Voters were asked to sign and mail to their congressman postcards that declared, “If I have more daylight, I can work longer for my country. We need every hour of light.” Manhattan’s borough president testified to Congress that the extra hour of light would be a boon to home gardening, and therefore increase the Allies’ food supply. Posters chided, “Uncle Sam, your enemies have been up and are at work in the extra hour of daylight—when will YOU wake up?”

With public opinion in its favor, Congress officially declared that all clocks would be moved ahead one hour at 2:00 A.M. on March 31, 1918. (Canada adopted a similar policy later the same year.) Americans were encouraged to turn off their lights and go to bed earlier than they normally did—at around 8:00 P.M.

Farmers Did NOT Favor DST

Many Americans wrongly point to farmers as the driving force behind Daylight Saving Time. In fact, farmers were its strongest opponents and, as a group, stubbornly resisted the change from the beginning.

When the war was over, the farmers and working-class people who had held their tongues began to speak out. They demanded an end to Daylight Saving Time, claiming that it benefited only office workers and the leisure class. The controversy put a spotlight on the growing gap between rural and urban dwellers. As a writer for the Literary Digest put it, “The farmer objects to doing his early chores in the dark merely so that his city brother, who is sound asleep at the time, may enjoy a daylight motor ride at eight in the evening.”

The Daylight Saving Time experiment lasted only until 1920, when the law was repealed due to opposition from dairy farmers (cows don’t pay attention to clocks). No fewer than 28 bills to repeal Daylight Saving Time had been introduced to Congress, and the law was removed from the books. American had tolerated Daylight Saving Time for about seven months.

Daylight Saving WWI-era poster

DST Returns 

The subject did not come up again until after the attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, and the United States was once again at war.

During World War II, Daylight Saving Time was imposed once again (this time year-round) to save fuel. Clocks were set one hour ahead to save energy.

After the war (which concluded with Japan’s final surrender on September 2, 1945), Daylight Saving Time started being used on and off in different states, beginning and ending on days of their choosing.

Local Differences and Inconsistency

Inconsistent adherence to time zones among the states created considerable confusion with interstate bus and train service. To remedy the situation, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966, establishing consistent use of Daylight Saving Time within the United States: Clocks were to be set ahead one hour on the last Sunday in April and one hour back on the last Sunday in October.

That was the rule, but some state legislatures took exception via a loophole that had been built into the law. Residents of Hawaii and most of Arizona did not change their clocks. Residents of Indiana, which straddles the Eastern and Central time zones, were sharply divided on Daylight Saving Time: Some counties employed it, some did not.

In 1986, the U.S. Congress approved a bill to increase the period of Daylight Saving Time, moving the start to the first Sunday in April. The goal was to conserve oil used for generating electricity—an estimated 300,000 barrels annually. (In 2005, the entire state of Indiana became the 48th state to observe Daylight Saving Time.)

Daylight Saving Time Today

The current daylight saving period was established with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which went into effect in 2007.

Today, most Americans spring forward (turn clocks ahead and lose an hour) on the second Sunday in March (at 2:00 A.M.) and fall back (turn clocks back and gain an hour) on the first Sunday in November (at 2:00 A.M.). See how your sunrise and sunset times will change with our Sunrise/set Calculator.

However, farmers’ organizations continue to lobby Congress against the practice, preferring early daylight to tend to their fields and a Standard Time sunset for ending their work at a reasonable hour. Some farmers point out that the Daylight Saving Time is deceptively misnamed. “It is a gimmick that changes the relationship between ‘Sun’ time and ‘clock’ time but saves neither time nor daylight,” says Katherine Dutro, spokesperson for the Indiana Farm Bureau.

Most of Canada is on Daylight Saving Time; only portions of Saskatchewan and small pockets of British Columbia remain on Standard Time year-round. However, the practice has its detractors. In the words of a current-day Canadian poultry producer, “The chickens do not adapt to the changed clock until several weeks have gone by, so the first week of April and the last week of October are very frustrating for us.” Similarly, one Canadian researcher likened an increase in traffic accidents to the onset of Daylight Saving Time. Other experts insist that the extra hour of daylight reduces crime. 

As of March 2021, an impressive 32 states have proposed bills to end the practice of switching clocks. However, the legislation can only go into effect if the federal law changes. The Uniform Time Act would need to be amended to allow such a change. See the latest on which states have passed bills to put a stop to DST changes.

Share your thoughts about DST below—and see readers’ comments from the past. As you can see, our Almanac readers are quite passionate about this topic!

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Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Nov 14

Pretty sure DST is November 14 this year…

DST Unwanted and Unnatural

Put it to a vote state by state and it will be abolished in most if not all states.

Daylight

I agree with the farmers they have a good reason get rid of the daylight savings time

DST

If people want to get up earlier during the spring and summer months then set the alarm clock for the time you want to get especially if you want to get more done with more daylight. Otherwise let it be

End DST!

Changing our clocks is an unnecessary nuisance that disrupts circadian rhythm and established work routines. End this irritating practice and maintain Standard Time year-round. I grew up in Georgia, at the western edge of the Eastern time zone. Folks in this geographical situation fare worse than those living in an eastern area of time zone.

Stop Shifting Time

As many have said, DST does not "save" time, simply shifts around when sunrise and sunset occur on our clocks. In this modern world, it really doesn't benefit anyone save anything. The effects on accident rates, circadian rhythm, and livestock are well documented. Do we really save that much fossil fuel by doing this that is makes it worthwhile?

Where I live, there is a period of time in the spring and fall where the sun is directly in my eyes driving to or from work (I drive an E/W road). We just get past that, and boom! DST starts (or ends) - extending that process another several weeks. Makes for an additional period of time with increased risk in driving, not to mention aggravation, and sometimes pain.

I'm not a morning person, so I hate getting up in the dark. Morning people lose their steam come evening. Either way, we each have to deal with that. Leave the clocks alone so we don't have to deal with it twice. I'd vote for simply using Standard Time; period.

YEAR ROUND DST

The U.S. tried daylight saving time year round once. I believe it was somewhere in the mid 70s or 80s. It was too dark in the morning in northern Ohio and I'm sure many other places. This can easily be checked. Just see how much light there is outside about an hour before buses are normally picking up students in late November to mid December.

Daylight Saving Time

The cows know when to give milk. The chickens know when to lay eggs. The stupid people don't know what time it is. There is only so much time in a day. What will they do on a stormy day when there is no sun? If they can't make up their mind then put it on the half hour and leave it there.

Daylight Savings Time

I absolutely hate Daylight Savings Time! We need to stay with the real thing: sun time. If you want different hours for your own business during the summer then post those different hours and dates.

Daylight Saving VS Standard Time

The belief that we gain one hour of daylight is illusionary. The one-hour gain is lost in the evening and vice versa with Standard time. For those who work evenings or night-time shifts, the sunrise or sunset causes glare for those who drive (sorry ecologists) to and from work. This results in a greater number of accidents until the drivers get used to the blinding light. By staying on one - either Daylight or Standard time, drivers would gradually acclimatize themselves to the different grades of sunlight.

dst

I believe the rooster crows at sun-up and that is when the day begins regardless of the hour showing on the clock. Do we change the clocks because we are human and think we know more about nature than the animals? Then why do we watch nature to make predictions?
Throw the clocks out the window. They are controlling our lives. ( p.s. I don't like changing time.)

Daylight Savings Time Disaster

Someone needs to step up to the plate and get rid of this detrimental time change twice a year. It's ridiculous. The only people in favor of it in the beginning were business people/politicians with money who wanted more time to play golf at the end of the day. For everyone else, farmers especially, this was a horror show and it continues to be one. We love the extra daylight in the mornings. Hard enough to get up, but in the dark??? Make this the last time and this time when we go back to normal, leave it be!!!

DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME

I wish we didn't observe it , it messes with everyone's sleep circadian rhythm too much, health wise I do not believe it is good for any of us. I usually start the Thursday before the change mentally in my head adjusting and switch my clocks on Friday nights to help me and by Sunday I am fine. I don't care which time they choose, but one needs to be picked that benefits people the most.

Day light not savings

The practice of changing our clocks twice a year is extremely detrimental to our physical health. Our bodies were not meant to change the circadian rhythm often.

Please no year-round DST!

I live in Minnesota, so we already have extremely long periods of darkness in the winter. if year-round DST came into being, we wouldn't have sunrise in December and January until close to 9 A.M.! So, as an early riser, I cannot in any way support efforts to impose Daylight Saving Time year-round. In fact, I personally would much rather have year-round Standard Time (though of course that would mean summer sunrises before 4 A.M. at my latitude). Either way, I'm really tired of the twice annual changing of the clocks.

Thankfully am in Arizona!

We do NOT observe DST.. Neither does Hawaii. The only time it was frustrating was in business. Quite literally the east coast shuts down at 1:30 or 2pm AZ time because they are 3 hours ahead of us. To conduct business we had to start SUPER early AZ time to reach anyone on the east coast.

In these current days..the only reason for clock change would be energy. But in AZ in the summer..it’s hot 24/7, no energy savings. So we will continue as is while the rest of you worry about the clock.

Daylight Saving Time

Just stop using DST altogether. Give me a he farmers a break. I’ve also read more heart attacks occur around the time changes, so it’s not good for any of us.

March Way To Early For Daylight Saving Time

If the fools in this country insist on having DST, at least go back to the start on the last Sunday in April and end on the last Sunday in October.

Daylight Saving Time

I don't care if they leave it at DST or Standard time. Just leave it alone.

November 7, 2021is a Thursday

Hello,
November 7, 2021 is a Thursday, not Sunday. That would be November 10. I had a few moments of confusion!
Thanks.

November

The Editors's picture

I believe you’re looking at October 2021! November 7, 2021, is indeed a Sunday.

Daylight Saving Time

Why not put the entire world on Greenwich Median time? Every country every clock stays on a 24 hour military clock per Greenwich. Schedules and appointments are on the same clock throughout the United States the world. My boss says to be at work at xx:xx I'm there.

The Comments

Erridicate Woodrow Wilson, FDR, GWBush (I can live with that) from history? Over an hour of lost and regained sleep? Holy cow...I'm glad I never lived such a rigid, structured life that my sleep patterns were never once interrupted, not even 2 hours a year. I've traveled all over the world and back, all over the country and back, nd there's nothing worse than jet lag returning from overseas. Actually, there is; Lousy hotel sleep following long days turned into long weeks of stressed business meetings covering 4 cities in 4 areas of the country, long nights of business entertaining. Fitful sleep close to the elevator or the dumpster even in the finest of hotels, waking up never knowing exactly where you are for the first few minutes of the day. Eventually adapted to business trave, loved personal, foreign travel, loosing sleep part of the journey. So, you figure it out or else become eadicated from your own history. People lighten up. It's 2 hours of the year. The only two groups who have a true and real gripe are the origional inhabitants of this land, the Indigenous Peoples, and today's Smaller Farmers; Those who live, work with and honor the land and nature.

DST vs. DST

For crying out loud.. Pick one and stick with it.. Although, myself a city slicker, it's the farmers who sustain us. I don't want GSM fake food, tortured factory farmed downed animals or pesticide covered fruit s & vegetables on my plate because the farmers themselves must do whatever they can do to avoid starving their familie trying to survive. I side with whichever method of time-keeping will soothe the animals, keep the fields tended and help the farmers in any way possible. No one is stepping in to save the smaller farmers, from those they feed, sacrificing one hour a year isn't too big of a sacrifice. Personally I love DLS, dread Fall and Winter. Boo hoo.

Time change

I agree leave to standard time instead of daylight savings time because it messes our health and mood and sleepy

Time change re Daylight Saving Time

No one, no matter what title he holds, has the right to change the natural time of the universe, no natter the reason, and it makes no sense to vote on it because Standard time is natural. Sure there are some things about DST we all may prefer, but we have a lot to deal with already, without messing with nature! Some comments here clearly are uninformed of our natural circadian rhythm which is regulated by light and dark including sleep and wakefulness; a line from an article "Your brain receives signals based on your environment and activates certain hormones, alters your body temperature, and regulates your metabolism to keep you alert or draw you to sleep." People who are more environmentally sensitive would be the ones who have trouble during time changes. But in any event, PLEASE LEAVE STANDARD TIME.
Get rid of Daylight saving time, it is unnatural and we should not have to be subjected to this as a law!

DST

Don't call it Daylight Savings Time; Call it Daylight SHIFTING Time. It doesn't save any daylight, it just shifts it from one part of the clock to another. It is very wasteful. It cost millions of dollars every year in time spent shifting clocks, sleep disturbance for most people, increased accidents, and missed appointments. Pick either standard time or DST and leave the clocks there year 'round. Here in Indiana we often call it Daniels Stupid Time because Mitch Daniels was the governor who pushed it through the legislature.

Day light savings

At the next election let the public vote on it. I would vote for standard time year round.

DST... Just get rid of it already! PERMANENTLY! Please!

I say just put each time zone on the "fall back" one hour, schedule. And keep every State, Country, City & Town on that schedule ALL year, EVERY year! And NEVER EVER observe DST AGAIN!!! That way no one will have to deal with the outdated, useless, annoying and aggravating b.s. of changing clock's back and forth two times a flippin year, year after year, after...... blah blah blah... EVER AGAIN!!!
And as for where I stand with any and or all the younger, children, kid(s) of school age and or even collage age. Who have to be picked up via school bus or public transportation, or those that have to walk as well as also stand and wait for the school bus, the public bus or other form of public transportation, in the, dangerous things can or could happen, in the dark, when it's harder to be seen, even by their own bus drivers, while they're simply waiting to go to school....
Those dangerous and absurd bus roughts in the dark or darker parts of the morning and or evening's hours, can and - SHOULD BE - changed, rescheduled to a more sunlight, sight appropriate time, via- that particular States, Congress, Legislators, House of Representatives and or Govoner, etc etc; by making any of the necessary and or needed time changes to any and all of its school's/students, starting and ending time's. As well as to their buses scheduled pick-up and drop off times! So that they are able to better ensure the safety of students who attend their schools be their arrivals be by public transportation, school provided bus, walking, biking or their parent(s) picking them up and dropping them off each day!

Day light sàving time

I really hate the time change and just wish they congress would pass the bill to stay at day light sàving time

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