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This weekend, we Alaskans will join residents of 47 other states in observing daylight saving time. As the clocks strike 2 a.m. Alaska Standard Time on Sunday, we will turn them forward one hour, officially starting daylight saving time in Alaska.
The tradition, initially implemented to make better use of daylight, dates back to long before Alaska became the 49th state. In a place with incredible swings in daylight, however, simply moving the clock forward is much more complicated than it may seem at first glance.
Not that long ago Alaska was split into four different time zones. Southeast joined Seattle in Pacific time, Yakutat joined Canada's Yukon time, Alaska time stretched from near Yakutat to Cold Bay, and Bering time encompassed the Aleutians and extended north up the coast.