Daylight Saving Time 2020: When Does the Time Change?

When Does Daylight Saving Time Begin?

March 5, 2020

Daylight Saving Time starts on the 2nd Sunday in March—that’s Sunday, March 8, 2020! See details about the history of “saving daylight” and why we still observe DST today.

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.”

  • 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

(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

Daylight Savings Time

Lets face it people, daylight savings time was totally invented for the rich, so they can golf an hour later in the evening. "Think about it America, the rich control everything even your own time!"


Beside rich golfers in the US - DST was invented for working people to enjoy more daylight after finishing their job and to save energy - not sure where you are working - maybe have some golf lessons - after work?! In Europe DST 2016 started on 27.3., 03:00 (+1hrs)


It should be DST all year round.

I think should be shortened

I hate the time change. I think the lengthened time from March to Nov is ridiculous (CST). We spend more of the year in the "new time" than the regular time zone. I think it should be shortened to May 1 to July 31 just so we don't have the sun coming up at 4 am during the longest days of the year. Plus then it wouldn't affect as many younger children going to school since they don't yet understand the time changes.

I totally agree with Jenn and

I totally agree with Jenn and I like her idea of starting May 1, that would be easy to remember and the time change wouldn't sneak up on anyone.

When I was a kid

April 30-October 29. It still sucked.

It should be ended

It causes stress on beople by disrupting their circadian rhythm. The first week automobile accidents increase as well as hearattacks. It does not save energy, and if a person wants more daylight, they should get up earlier on their own.


I personally hate DLS. I have to wake up for school every morning at 5. now i basically have to wake up at 4. But the time of 4:00 has a mask on it saying its 5. for the rest of the year until March. It's a relief though when March comes by and changes, cuz then you get to sleep in an hour, even tho by that time your sleep pattern and 'internal' clock has changed. I would definately prefer standard time. The time changes are unneeded and annoying.

Changing clocks is STUPID.

Changing clocks is STUPID. The rest of the country needs to get in line with Arizona, parts of FL and IN and wherever else isn't foolish enough to be messing with time.

extra time

work on a marketing project

daylight savings time

Al Myren has said it the best with the blanket example!!!! Hilarious! THANK YOU!

Time to stop all the springing forward and falling back, already

I understand that this will come up for Oregon voters soon -- hopefully next year? Besides, what with daylight savings time lasting longer and longer, pretty soon it'll be the default, anyway :-)

I suggest we leave the clock

I suggest we leave the clock the way it is now.

We have to use more energy because it gets dark earlier ,it effects people mentally ,
Because it has been done every year doesn"t mean we have to continue.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let"s get a movement going to not turn the clock back.
Our hands are not tied.

daylight savings

Daylight savings time was actually a brilliant contribution from an ancient politcian. One cold winter, he came up with a plan to provide jobs for his constituents, to amuse them, and to "save energy" all at the same time. He put old women to work cutting off the last foot of every blanket of every one of his constituents. Then he put OTHER old women to work sewing the remainders BACK ON to the other end of the blanket, to make them longer and warmer. GENIUS!

Kill DST

Daylight Savings Time does not change the amount of daylight! For those who want more daylight in the evening, get up earlier and change your work hours. The switching of clocks is a nuisance at best, and is a significant problem for many business and systems. It is long past the time we should do away with this awful idea.

Time change

There is a time for every purpose under heaven, according to the Bible. Tonight it is time for the Royals to win game number 2 of the World Series. And it may also be time for Pete Rose to be taken off Fox TV. He adds nothing to the discussions

Can't we please just leave it

Can't we please just leave it one way or the other? Don't care which but prefer standard time as that is natural

Keep it with nature

I would prefer one time, not getting how you would save fuel, as before DST we start our lamps early in morning, when DST starts we start our lamps early in evening so consumption of energy is same, plus it looks awful when u see dark at 5 pm. So go along with nature as cows.

Just wanted to do a little

Just wanted to do a little public service!
So this Sunday is when you
reset your clocks one hour. And if you ever get confused, just remember
this handy little saying: When you trip you fall forward, but when you
are surprised, you spring back! That will help you always remember which
way to move your clock.
Hope this helps.

The saying is, "Spring

The saying is, "Spring forward, fall back." This time of year, (Fall, even in 2016) we set the clocks back by one hour.

End this DST!

People people people. You do NOT gain a extra hour. It is all in our heads. You can NOT tell the sun to set a extra hour. We are still in a 24 hour clock zone either way. Thanks to Halloween this time still stays till November 1. When we change it back its almost time to re-change it. I don't understand why we need to KEEP a time. Keep Regular TIME!

Enjoy November 1; it's special!

This coming Sunday, November 1, is that special day we get only once a year—a 25-hour day. Personally, I wish we had more such days because of the advantage of that extra hour, which we can use however we want: an extra hour of sleep, spending time with the family, catching up on undone chores, indulging in our favorite hobby or pastime, or anything else our hearts desire. Imagine how nice it would be if all days lasted 25 hours. Life would definitely be more enjoyable, even if only by a little bit.

If we could just figure out how to nudge our trajectory around the sun into a slightly longer orbit, we might be able to do it. This would also solve the problems of global warming as it would also make the earth just a bit cooler than it now is. The North Pole icecap would refreeze, polar bears would once again regain their health and happy hunting, the sea would stop rising, glaciers would stop melting, hurricanes' strength would diminish, Santa Claus wouldn’t have to worry about his elves’ workshop being flooded--all this along with several other related benefits.

As things are, however, we get only this one day, so enjoy that extra hour. You won't get another one like it again until this time next year.

"If we could just figure out

"If we could just figure out how to nudge our trajectory around the sun into a slightly longer orbit..." That would make the YEAR longer. To make a day last 25 hours you would have to slow down the ROTATION.

Actually....both are RELATED.

Actually....both are RELATED. While a "nudge" in our orbit wouldn't change the length of days, that longer YEAR would give us more DAYS. Changing only the rotation for longer DAYS would give us less DAYS and a shorter calendar YEAR.

Why are we CAPITALIZING like this!? lol

Either way, we're all going to live the same actual length of time, give or take a bit. All this time change stress certainly isn't helping that, however.

DST Sucks

I am so completely fed up with the stupidity of changing time! If the change would be 30 minutes BETWEEN the two times that are used and then NEVER CHANGED AGAIN!!!!! I could survive it.

There is absolutely NO purpose for it anymore! Enough!


I see both sides of the coin here. But in reality, our ancestors never worried about changing time. They were usually up and had half their day done when the sun rose and enjoyed bonfires in the evening to gather and rejoice. It is a mechanization of the government to impose its standard on the peoples free will and a way to keep us in line with their (the governments) desires.

We need to evolve as a

We need to evolve as a species and get off the greedy corporate structure tke Mayans knew the real time they had 13 months of the year , 2e are being lied to once again

DLS.... not

Lived in AZ the last 12 years. Love that they have opted out of dls. Wish we had raised our kids here. What a pain, especially the younger ones, switching back and forth. Now there's 8 months of DLS. What! So glad we're in AZ.


Wake up, people!!! DST was NOT invented by Ben Franklin! I was created by the Illuminati so that they could hold their secret meetings under the cover of darkness in the winter months. They have everyone fooled! We must join together to stop this sinister organization from taking complete control over the minds of the population!


Have any of you against DST ever had to walk or even wait in the dark as a child going to school. Stop complaining as to whether or not you have more or less daylight. Think of how it helps keep the children safe from predators in this day and age.
For those of you who want to know you do not gain daylight at all. The change in the clock corresponds to the time the sun rises and sets. How can it set at 8 p.m. if the sun has already gone down at 6 p.m. in the winter. DST is beneficial for everyone and has been going on for the majority of your lives suck it up and keep moving forward.