Daylight Saving Time 2020: When Does the Time Change?

When Does Daylight Saving Time End This Year?

October 21, 2020

Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 1, 2020, at 2:00 A.M.  On Saturday evening, our clocks need to “fall back” one hour. See details about the history of “saving daylight” and why we still observe DST today. And 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. However, DST has many detractors—and rightfully so.

When Is Daylight Saving Time in 2020? When Does the Time Change?

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 8, 2020 at 2:00 A.M. On Saturday night, set your clocks forward one hour (i.e., losing one hour) to “spring ahead.”
  • Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 1, 2020, at 2:00 A.M. On Saturday night, set your clocks 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 2020 and Beyond

(In the U.S., the exceptions to DST are Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.)

Year Daylight Saving Time Begins Daylight Saving Time Ends
2020 Sunday, March 8 at 2:00 A.M. Sunday, November 1 at 2:00 A.M.
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.

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? 

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 2020, 39 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!


Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Shortest day

It’s Nov 5th and the sunsets in Northern California by 5, but I’m confused if this time will be the earliest that it will get dark or does it go even earlier than 5pm. Thanks

earliest sunset

The Editors's picture

The earliest sunset for the year will occur, for the northern latitudes, a week or two before the winter solstice. For latitudes around 40 degrees, such as Eureka, California, this takes place around December 5 through 8, at about 4:48 pm EST. On November 5 for the same area, sunset occurred at about 5:07 pm EST. (November 4 was at 6:08 pm EDT.) So, even after we change our clocks back an hour in November, the sun is still setting earlier as the days progress. The day with the least amount of daylight, however, is the winter solstice (December 21 this year, 2017), because even though at latitude 40 degrees, for example, the sun will be setting slightly later at that point, the sun is also rising later. To check your area’s sunset and sunrise times, as well as day length, for any day, you can go to:

Daylight Saving Time (not really saving anything)

Love this line: “When told the reason for Daylight Saving time the old Indian said, 'Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket.' ” Set the time back to standard this time and then leave it alone already. When we go to DST and set the clock forward in the spring, we're not getting any extra daylight, people. The sun still shines the same number of hours every day regardless of what the clock says. What a stupid policy and I wish we would stop doing it. My vote goes to 'fall back' to standard (regular) time this weekend and then leave it.

Daylight Saving Time

My grandfather served in both WW1 & WW2 and he refused to change his clocks all his life because as he stated, "I could never get my chickens up any earlier to lay eggs!" Considering how many people are on welfare and food stamps these days I don't think you can get people up any earlier to go to work either.

Daylight savings tunel

some states and nations do not use DST because the time schedule interferes with the livestock's feed and grazing schedule; (Russia stopped DST);(rural Russia has many dairy farms) I thought DST was "to allow the school children1800's to work as "child crop laborers more time in the morning!!!;;


Change DST by 1/2 hour. Now leave it there and one has the best of both standard and DST.

Good Compromise

This is the first time I have seen this solution. Brilliant! I hate the clock change.

Big thanks to all the Navy

Big thanks to all the Navy signalman (oh yeah, there's no more men in the military, quartermaster now) who have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to raise the ship pennants. Sunrise and sunset, raise 'em and lower 'em. Raise the US flag at 8, but I'm sure that tradition will be found offensive and halted. Guess we need an "Everybody gets a trophy" flag to replace it.


Ironic that we try to manipulate day/night "time". A clock doesn't change length of daylight or darkness, nor does it change the cycle of when the sun rises or sets. Changing the clock/time on the other hand makes us think so (and makes many crazy too!). Do away with DST or keep it all year, one or the other, but my vote is to do away with DST and go natural.


I hate dst! Already dark and gloomy enough in the winter and it's like jet lag to me for a few weeks!


From my understanding DTS gives us more light in the evening.... if we did not do DTS our evening hours would be cut short

Daylight savings time;l

Daylight savings time gives up more light in the evening; this begins in about April; we are in the regular time zone in the Autumn; I would prefer more Sunshine in the afternoon; I say; use Daylight Savings Time (push the clocks forward); all year long; Daylight savings is good; all year though; gee we get darker in the winter anyway; why push it ?!!! (maybe its so Commercial Holdiay Decorations like plastic Santa's can glow in the dark more(not)
I hate plastic holiday decorations; they cause havoc to marine life; live Christmas Trees can be stored in garage and planted in the spring. AR/Conn.


The whole idea of changing the clocks is stupid. The time is still going to be the same whether we change the clocks or not, the only reason people say we gain an hour or lose an hour is because of the clocks, but in reality the time never changes the day light does last longer or night time does come earlier and it would happen even if we didn't change the clocks. I think we should stop changing the clocks it's just ridiculous other states don't change there clocks and life goes on so the rest of the country should do the same.


I hate DST. I agree that is for the 9-5 er nut I work until 8 or 9 pm sometimes and it so stupid to worry about the time loss. I think you lose either way. When I want to sleep in during summer, the sun rises at 5:30. So what do we do? Will our current president so anything about it? Lol I wish he would, he is a golfer

Daylight Savings Time takes

Daylight Savings Time takes away an hour of daylight for me to get something done in the evening and that is the only time I have to get something done during the summer months. So whenever I have to do any kind of repairs or work I have to take a day off of work now. I am not in favor of daylight savings time. I am not in favor of changing the clocks if we need to get up early we should have enough discipline to get up early. However I cannot change the time that I have to go to work.


Personally, we shouldn't have DST at all. Let everything go according to nature, to the circadian flow. Being retired & disabled, it doesn't really matter whether I'm up or going to bed, at the crack of dawn. As Ron mentioned earlier, during the day in the summer, our AC units have to work harder. I lived in Oklahoma, I have the electric bills to prove it.

As Jane said on the 20th, it's nuts having to be on DST for 8 months out of the year, only to switch back for 4 months. Seriously, what IS the purpose of that??

Since WW1, workers have taken on various hours at work, so not all work during the day. We have first shift, 2nd shift, 3rd shift and Graveyard shifts. While I enjoy the sunlight as much as the next person, and prefer to go to work and come home during daylight hours, it's a waste. Congress needs to dismantle this creature of time.

Daylight Saving Time

DST may be alright for some locations, but here in southern Florida, it does much more harm than good and is actually wasting energy. Lighting used to be a major consumer of power in the home, but that has not been true for years and is getting less so quickly thanks to LED bulbs. The main power eater in this area is air conditioning and DST makes its gluttony even worse. When most people leave the house in the morning they will turn the thermostat up a few degrees to save energy (a few degrees can make a significant difference). Then, when they return in the afternoon, they turn the thermostat back down. Because the sun is up for an extra hour, the AC unit has to run harder for that time and burns more electricity that is saved by having the lights on longer.

daylight Saving time

I understand your point. Living in a warm climate and setting clocks forward - runs the air longer. However living here in Nebraska where it's colder (today in fact started at 17 degrees!! I'll bet that's a record). I get up in the morning - set the thermostat down a few degrees so it doesn't run the heat all day when we are gone. Once we set the clocks back and it gets dark by 5:30/6:00 (ughh!) the heat has to be turned up earlier in the evening. More heat bills for the colder states on standard time when we turn clocks back. However the sweltering summers - yes running the air longer. I think it's a wash for us in the middle of the US. Personally I'd just like the extra hour of daylight in evening. I don't like turning the clocks back for 1 hour in the winter, coldest darkest part of the year. Dark at 5:30 is so depressing. I don't think there's going to be a solution everyone can agree on. Just do away with it. Time is time. The animals/plants don't keep time. haha.

Daylight Saving Time

Hi Laurie,

As I said, DST may be OK in some areas, but not in the southern part of the Country. I also agree that it is depressing to have to get up in the dark, but DST only makes that worse.


We should have DST all year. Great to come home from work and have extra light time to be outdoors. People who complain about DST must be morning people who do best early. For those of us who are not more light later in day is great!


DST is miserable and I suffer for weeks after we switch to it. When working full time, the first month of dodging sleep deprived drivers & dealing with sleep deprived clients while being sleep deprived myself is terrible and now that it has been extended to 8 full months, it makes the standard time more difficult to become accustomed to as well.

DST california

Our bodies are designed with natural circadian rhythms. DST creates havoc with that for some, not all people. I am one of them. It really messes me up. Time is arbitrary, but our bodies are programmed to be on a consistent schedule. I think it’s crazy to live on one schefule for 8 months and then suddenly change it only to change again just 4 months later. I would love to get rid of DST. It no longer is needed for the readon was during wartime.There are also some health risks in some people including a higher occurrence of heart attacks on those days that throw the body out of sync.

You are so right Jane

You are so right Jane

Daylight savings time

My opinion is we should have more daylight time , because of the high crimes today , and because of the many drinkers who can’t see at nite , or even the school children that have to stand outside in the dark waiting on their school buses .. there r a lot of criminals out I. The dark . They should give us as much daylight as possible


I despise daylight savings time. Always have. In the Spring it forces my day to start long before sunrise and in the evening it stays light too long for my body to be ready to sleep. It has always played havoc with my natural circadian rhythm.

DST discontinued

I think we have DST just so we ALL have sympathy for shift-changing workers!! Only WE have to endure the awful adjustment 2 times a year rather then every 4 days or so.

I think we should make up our mind as a nation and either have the "ahead" all year or "behind" an hour all year! Nature (circadian rhythms included) don't care what a clock says. The only time in our lives when we can live "naturally" is when we retire!#!/! Hurray!

Daylight savings time

A side from the comments from Monster Man and the world ending, why did DLST begin on Thursday night rather than the usual Saturday night?
I'm confused.

Your Sunday Best

The Editors's picture

Hi, Beth: Daylight Saving Time (DST) always starts at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday morning in March and ends right before 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in November, so I’m afraid that we don’t know to what Thursday you are referring–but thanks for asking!


I don't like changing the clocks twice a year at all. By the time I'm used to the "Spring Forward" it's time to "Fall Back" again. We should do what the Amish do. They don't change their clocks at all. They have never used DST. Always followed Standard Time.


Why don't all you cry babies stop whining, and stop trying to change something that as been around since man can remember.
Does it really matter considering that stupid humans are using up all Earth's resources, and making more & more kids, we are over populated now. ARE YOU ALL TO STUPID TO SEE THE SIGNS OF THE WORLD IS ENDING.
and don't get me started on the ignorance of the government. GOD IS COMING, ARE YOU READY?