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Daylight Saving Time: What you may not have known

Some Legislators in South Carolina are hoping to eliminate Daylight Saving Time. (Taggart Houck/WPDE)

You hear the question probably at least twice a year: "Should Daylight Saving Time stay or go?"

Many legislators in Florida said it's time to let it go. Their bill to ignore the change will soon go before Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

In South Carolina, Rep. Alan Clemmons proposed a bill to ignore the change in the Palmetto State. While it has yet to receive any votes, other elected leaders have given serious thought to the change.

But do you know where it started? Or how?

Our team asked Monday morning.

"From what I understand, it was developed so that farmers would have more time, more daylight," said Mike Datlof, who lives in Carolina Forest.

The farming theory is popular. Some people said it had to do with church.

"Older people, when they were going to church and stuff, it would be daylight. It would help them out," said Charles Gregory in the Myrtle Beach area vacationing from Spartanburg.

The original reason for the change didn't have to do with farming, or church. It happened in 1916 in Germany and Austria. Leaders in both countries decided they wanted to conserve fuel to create electrical power. Other countries in Europe soon followed and two years later, so did the United States.

It happened in 1918 under the Woodrow Wilson administration. That also started standard time zones, but it only lasted for seven months.

Another attempt in America happened during World War II. FDR mandated year-round Daylight Saving Time, at least until 1945.

Until 1966, there were no federal rules. Cities and states had the power to choose to implement the change if they wanted. But in 1966, Congress created a nationwide system of Daylight Saving. It became known as the Uniform Time Act of 1966. States could vote to remove themselves from a change. Today, only Arizona and Hawaii have done that.

The debate rages on, but for now, it's an adjustment to an earlier time.

ABC15 News reached out to Gov. Henry McMaster's office asking whether he'd sign on for South Carolina to skip the time change. We have not heard back.

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