Daylight Savings Time in Arizona

There are many fun and interesting facts about the state of Arizona that you may not know. One thing that people learn quickly is that we do not observe Daylight Savings Time in Arizona. While the rest of the country worries about setting clocks and possibly being late to work, Arizonans are resting comfortably without that stress. You must be asking yourself, why is that? Let’s take a look at Daylight Savings Time and why Arizona is the exception to the rule.

What is Daylight Savings?

Setting your clock forward one hour each spring is referred to as Daylight Savings Time or DST. This is a seasonal time change whereby the sun will rise and set later than the day prior. Currently, about 40% of countries worldwide use DST.

Germany and Austria are typically credited being the first countries to adopt the DST system in 1916. However, it is a little known fact that it was actually a few hundred Canadians that started the trend first, in 1908. Residents of Port Arthur, Ontario (today’s Thunder Bay), started turning their clocks forward first.

The idea really caught on in 1916, 2 years into World War 1. Germany turned it into a global sensation and its ally, Austria started DST as a way to minimize the use of artificial light with the goal of saving fuel during the war.

Who invented Daylight Savings?

It has been argued as to who originally came up with the idea of Daylight Savings Time. Some people credit Benjamin Franklin after his essay titled “An Economical Project.” It has been documented, however, that British builder William Willet was the first to advocate for the time change.

Willet had initially suggested setting the clocks ahead 20 minutes on each of the four Sundays in April, then switching them back for the same amount of time on each of the four Sundays in September. That is a lot of switching and probably the reason this method was never adopted.

Why we do not observe Daylight Savings Time in Arizona?

It has been over 50 years since Arizonans moved their clocks forward and backward with the rest of the country. The biggest reason for the decision to have clocks stay put is because the state is hot! Having the clocks stick to their time means that the temperatures are more tolerable, especially at night.

In 1966, congress established the Uniform Time Act, which was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The practice of Daylight Savings Time was federally declared across the entire United States. Arizona quickly asked and was granted an exemption, due to the extreme heat.

Other fun and quirky facts about Arizona

  1. The exception to Daylight Savings Time in Arizona is the Navajo Nation. Located in the northeastern part of the state, they do set their clocks with the rest of the United States in observation of DST.
  2. Arizona is the nation’s leader in copper production.
  3. The official state flower is the saguaro cactus blossom. It blooms on the tips of the saguaro cactus.
  4. The official state fossil is petrified wood. Just take a trip to the Petrified Forest in the northeastern part of the state to learn why.
  5. The official state tree is the Palo Verde tree.
  6. Keeping with the cactus theme, the official Arizona state bird is the cactus wren. As you might have guessed by its name, the cactus wren makes its nests and home within giant saguaro cacti.
  7. The official state gemstone is turquoise.
  8. The geographic center of Arizona is 55 miles southeast of Prescott.
  9. Arizona is home to many natural wonders, including the Grand Canyon, Havasu Canyon, Grand Canyon Caves, Lake Powell/Rainbow Bridge, Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, Monument Valley, Sunset Crater, Meteor Crater, Sedona Oak Creek Canyon, Salt River Canyon, Superstition Mountains, Picacho Peak State Park, Saguaro National Park, Chiricahua National Monument, and the Colorado River.
  10. The official amphibian of Arizona is the tree frog.
  11. The London Bridge located in Lake Havasu City was shipped stone by stone from London and reconstructed.
  12. Arizona’s official state colors are blue and gold.
  13. Arizona is part of the four corners. This is the only spot in the United States where you can stand in all four states at the same time (other states include Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah).
  14. The state is home to the largest area of land dedicated to the Native lands.
  15. Arizona became a state on February 14, 1912.
  16. Once upon a time, camels were used to transport goods across the state.