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Daylight Saving Time Starts: Change Your Clocks!

With news from Japan capturing a good chunk of our attention today, there's time for just a short reminder about the clocks. Yes, it's time to change them already. If it seems early, you're right — that is, if you're stuck in 2006.

That's because in 2007, the start of Daylight Saving Time was moved to the second Sunday in March for most of America. That's a switch from the old date, which was the first Sunday in April.

So at 2 a.m. this Sunday morning, you'll need to set your clock to 3 a.m. Or if you're someone who likes to go your own way, you can just change the setting when you go to bed.

If you're just not ready for this change, take solace in the fact that in 1974, DST started on Jan. 6. If you need a mantra to get through the transition, maybe you could try, "At least it's not 1974."

That was, of course, during the Energy Crisis — after all, moving the clocks ahead in the spring and back in the fall is meant to save the country both money and natural resources.

And yes, Hawaii and most of Arizona do not observe it. Here's a map of time-zone differences.

The Naval Observatory has a nice, short history of the subject.

DST runs until the first Sunday in November, when we'll all be weirded out again.

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.