The short answer is, basically, because El Pasoans don't like being told what to do.

Ain't that the truth? We are an independent bunch around El Chuco and when the United States Government initially established the four time zones, (1921), El Paso was placed in the central time zone along with the rest of Texas.

Ummmm, no. El Paso opted to go with the mountain time zone for a number of reasons and informed the government of their decision. In 1966, Big Brother got pushy about it but the resistance was strong so Uncle Sam agreed to "think about" leaving us in MST.

2nd China Documentary Exhibition of Fine Arts Held In Wuhan
Getty Images

Among the reasons El Paso gave for wanting to "secede" from the central time zone were to avoid interruptions in commerce and to keep thousands of White Sands Missile Range employees from having to work in one time zone while living in another

As the realtors say ... "location, location, location". The commerce argument seems to have been the strongest one as we're far away from other CST cities in Texas but we're  practically attached to several MST cities.  To be exact:

El Paso is located 1,000 miles west of the 90th (Central Standard Time zone) meridian and 120 miles west of the 105th (Mountain Standard Time zone) meridian. (El Paso Times)

The "Time Zone Revolution" officially began in 1966 but it wasn't until 1970 that El Paso finally won the battle and were given permission to stay in the mountain time zone. To this day, we are the only (major) city in Texas that is NOT in the central time zone.

After all, we're closer to L. A. than the other side of Texas. Even today though, the debate continues ...


All 10 Of El Paso's Nicknames

More From The Basin's Classic Rock