GREAT FALLS — Montana is currently in “Daylight Saving Time,” but on Sunday, Nov. 7, Standard Time will once again be implemented, and clocks will “fall back” one hour.
The change officially occurs at 2 a.m. on that date. For many people, the change no longer requires actually moving the dials on a clock - many electronic devices such as cell phones and "smart devices" automatically make the change.
Until 2007, the return to Standard Time occurred on the last Sunday of October, but in 2005, Congress changed the date to the first Sunday of November.
The next “spring forward” - returning clocks to Standard Time - will be on Sunday, March 13, 2021.
The NASA website explains the origin of Daylight Saving Time:
Benjamin Franklin is credited with the concept of Daylight Saving Time. The basic idea is to make the best use of daylight hours by shifting the clock forward in the Spring and backward in the Fall. Daylight Saving Time has been in use throughout much of the United States, Canada and Europe since World War I.
Some people enjoy the twice-yearly ritual of tinkering with time, feeling that “springing forward” or “falling back” helps to usher in a more seasonal atmosphere. Other people, however, don’t like the idea of trying to trick our bodies and our daily routines by adjusting the clocks.
In February 2019, a Montana Senate panel killed a bill that would have asked Montana voters whether they want to end daylight-saving time in the state.
That was not the first attempt by Montana legislators to make the change. A bill was introduced in the Legislature in 2017 to exempt Montana from the time-change; the bill died in committee.
And in the 2011 Legislature, MT State Representative Kris Hansen (R-Havre) introduced a similar proposal to take Montana off of the time-changing standard.
The proposal stated: “The state of Montana rejects switching between standard time and daylight saving time and elects to remain on daylight saving time in Montana throughout the year.”
The bill was tabled in committee and no further action was taken.