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A look back at this week in Surprise history

Posted 11/30/22

Here is a look at Surprise history through the years on this week.

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A look back at this week in Surprise history

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Here is a look at Surprise history through the years on this week, compiled from archives of Independent Newsmedia, Newspapers.com and the city of Surprise historical records:

1960

The town of Surprise incorporates to avoid annexation by El Mirage and because the county would not pave the streets. The first year’s paving budget was $6,000 to lay down gravel. Surprise joins Youngtown and Gila Bend in voting to incorporate as Arizona’s newest towns. Residents go to the Williams Market in Surprise to cast their votes. Residents vote 113-40 to merge Surprise and North El Mirage and incorporate.

1962

Surprise is attempting to acquire a post office, with the nearest ones in El Mirage and Peoria. The Town Council considers using parts of Town Hall on Santa Fe Drive for the postal facility.

1970

Mayor George Cumbie submits a petition of 250 signatures to the Arizona Highway Commission asking for a caution light to be installed at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Sunny Lane. The petitions also asked to make the city a no-passing zone and have the speed limit reduced to 45 miles per hour.

1977

Surprise hosts its 17th annual Founders Day celebration, which includes the Surprise Rodeo and a carnival over two days.

1984

The Surprise unemployment rate drops to 5.8%, which is way above the Maricopa County rate of 3.1%.

1989

Valley Olympic boxing medalist Michael Carbajal leads the Founders Day parade.

1994

City hosts its first ever “Surprise Party” for the holidays.

1995

The Sun Lakes Homeowners Association sues the community’s builders, Radnor Corp. and Estes Homes, for unfinished and shoddy work. The case would not be settled for another three years when Sun Lakes is awarded a $3.55 million settlement.

1996

Surprise annexes 320 acres along Dysart Road between Waddell and Greenway roads.

2000

The Tourism and Sports Authority approves giving Surprise $26 million toward construction of the $45 million Surprise Stadium. The Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers have already signed letters of intent to move spring training to Arizona.

2001

The City Council approves a $19 million expansion of its water plant between on Cactus between Dysart and Litchfield roads.

2005

The Surprise Fightin’ Falcons of the Golden Baseball League cease operations. Team officials say poor attendance caused losses as much as half a million dollars.

2010

Up to 16,000 people celebrate the 50th Anniversary of incorporation with a parade down Bullard Avenue as part of an expanded “Surprise Party.”

Surprise Almanac, history