Daylight saving time ends Sunday, and many Americans ticked off over back-and-forth

Here we go again: Time to reset those clocks. 

Daylight saving time will end at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 7. At that moment, clocks will have to "fall back" one hour to 1 a.m.

But how did we get here?

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, daylight saving time, or DST, started in the U.S. in 1918 as a way to create more sunlit hours when the weather is the warmest. 

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During the long days of summer, the sun rose in some Northern regions between 4 and 5 a.m., when most non-farmers were asleep. Sunset happened before 8 p.m. and people turned on lights. By moving the clocks ahead an hour, backers believed the country could divert a bit of coal-fired electricity to the military instead of using it for an hour of home power. It was again adopted in World War II.

After each war, Congress rescinded the national laws, but many people liked the extra hour of sunshine at the end of summer days, so some states and even cities observed daylight saving time while others kept standard time year-round. That meant driving relatively short distances could result in a time change or three.

By 1966, airlines and other clock-watching businesses tired of such quirks and pushed Congress to pass the Uniform Time Act. It codified daylight saving time, although it has been periodically modified, particularly the start and end dates. The only states not observing daylight time are Hawaii and Arizona, except for the latter’s Navajo reservations, which do.

DST is not observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the state of Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Indian Reservation). 

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But the clock may be running out on how much longer daylight saving time will stick around. 

Earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio renewed his call for the entire nation to save daylight all year round. It would have made daylight saving time permanent across the country. Several other states have voiced their support or opposition to daylight saving time. But any change can’t take effect unless Congress changes federal law.

A 2019 an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed 4 in 10 Americans would like to see their clocks stay on standard time year-round, while about 3 in 10 prefer to stay on daylight saving time. About another 3 in 10 prefer what is the status quo in most of the United States, switching back and forth between daylight saving time in the summer and standard time in the winter.

And in case you’re wondering, we get to change those clocks again when daylight saving time begins on March 13, 2022.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.