Mohave County
May 2024
Volume 24 Issue 3

Nov 2023 | November 2023 | 0 comments

Arizona’s Timeless Tradition: The Historical Why Behind Skipping DST

November 2023 | 0 comments

November 2023

The concept of Daylight Saving Time (DST), where clocks are set one hour ahead to extend evening daylight, is a familiar routine in many U.S. states. However, Arizona remains an exception. As DST rolls around each year, the consistency of Arizona’s clocks becomes a topic of discussion. This is especially notable for residents of Bullhead City working in Laughlin, Nevada, where time springs forward. This scenario often leads to curiosity about why Arizona opts out of DST.
The roots of Arizona’s exemption from DST trace back to 1967. The primary rationale behind this longstanding decision lies in the state’s harsh desert climate. Summer days in Arizona are blisteringly hot, with temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The idea of pushing the clock forward to have an extra hour of scorching sunlight in the evening was far from appealing. Thus, to spare its residents from additional heat exposure, Arizona decided to forego DST, a choice that has endured to this day.
This decision followed a two-year trial period from 1965 to 1967, during which Arizona did observe DST. However, the trial proved unpopular. The extended daylight hours in the evening did not offer any respite from the heat, leading to palpable displeasure among residents. This led to the state’s permanent exemption from DST starting in 1967.
Moreover, the energy-saving benefits that DST purported to offer did not hold much merit in Arizona. The state’s hot climate meant that any energy saved on lighting would likely be offset by increased use of air conditioning during the extra hour of daylight. The practicality of DST did not align with the realities of Arizona’s climate, making the exemption a logical choice.
Arizona’s decision reflects a tailored approach to time management, adapted to its unique environmental conditions. While the bi-annual time change in neighboring Nevada momentarily shifts the daily routine for some cross-river commuters, it also serves as a reminder of Arizona’s historical and well-considered stance on DST.
As the rest of the nation navigates the clock change, the narrative of Arizona’s unchanged clocks continues to be a fascinating divergence, deeply rooted in the state’s climatic reality and historical experience with DST.
– Jeremy Webb

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