Congress passed and President Lyndon Johnson signed the Uniform Time Act of 1966 creating standardized Daylight Saving Time to begin on the last Sunday in April and end on the last Sunday in October.
Both the start and end dates were extended since. The law ended a practice of some states, or parts of states, declaring local daylight savings time after War Time ended in 1945. Groups supporting the new law included save energy advocates, business and agricultural groups, and the leisure time industry.
When the law went into effect April 30, 1967, Arizona joined the rest of the nation — for one year. The new law required states to pass a law opting out. The Arizona Legislature adjourned their extended 1966 session in early 1967 without acting on the daylight savings issue, and Sen. Ray Goetz of Sun City was livid.
Mr. Goetz vehemently declared that as many as 90% of his constituents detested the idea of a government far away determining the time of sunrise and sunset for Arizona. A local newspaper ran a poll question with readers largely confirming Mr. Goetz’s argument. He declared he would make ridding Arizona of daylight time his top priority and began traveling the entire state drumming up interest and support. In 1968 the first bill introduced in the Senate was Mr. Goetz’s proposal to end daylight time.
Finding support in the House, an identical bill was introduced there and quickly sailed through, but got really tangled up in the Senate by a series of amendments, including one to opt out for only a single year.
The Senate finally agreed to the terms of the original Goetz proposal on the last day of their session and it was sent to Governor Jack Williams for his signature. Sun City had given the Governor an unheard-of percentage of their vote in his election, so his signature was a foregone conclusion.
Arizona officially opted out of daylight time in 1968 and that status remains today. Sun City and its senator played the leading role in that decision.
For more great history of Sun City, visit the Del E Webb Sun Cities Museum, 10801 W. Oakmont Drive, Sun City. Better yet, become a museum member and attend classes and presentations offered to those with membership status.