People

Silver Spike Ceremony

On September 17, 1930, hundreds of people gathered at Boulder Junction, Las Vegas (near the cross streets of Valley View and Russell today) to mark the start of construction of the 22 mile Union Pacific railroad track to link Las Vegas to Boulder City, as well as the beginning of the Boulder Dam project. The […]

Early History of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV)

On September 10th 1957, the first classes were held on the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) campus in a new 13,000-square-foot building; serving a growing post-war population in need of higher education services. The university started as an extension program from the University of Nevada Reno (UNR) back in 1951. It gained independence from […]

Digitizing History – Our Record Collection

This Spring through a combination of the UNLV Regent’s Service Program, and the generous donation following the 2020 Fall silent auction by the Friends of NSMLV, the museum acquired a special record player and we embarked upon a new project – digitizing record albums! Our history collection contains many vinyl records (6”, singles, 12”, LPs, […]

Four Queens Hotel and Casino

On June 2nd 1966 the Four Queens Hotel & Casino opened on Fremont Street, downtown Las Vegas. The casino was named after the four daughters of the founder and president Ben Goffstein. In turn, they were named after a queen from a pack of cards: Michele (the eldest) was the Queen of Spades, Benita the […]

The Naming of Hoover Dam

On 30th April 1947, the 80th Congress passed legislation to officially designate the dam, previously known as Boulder Dam, to be “Hoover Dam” in honor of President Herbert Hoover.  The name of the dam that spans banks of the Colorado River flowing in between Nevada and Arizona has long been a topic of conversation, for […]

Joe Louis

On April 12th 1981, Joe Louis passed away in Las Vegas. Born in Lafayette, Alabama, in 1914, Joe and his family moved away from the discrimination they encountered when he was still young to settle in Detroit. Joe was world heavyweight champion for 12 years, when the average reign was just 3, starting from when […]

Margaret Wheat

Margaret Wheat (1908-1988) was a self-taught geologist and anthropologist with a special interest in ichthyosaurs – the Nevada State fossil. Born to pioneer parents in Fallon, NV., she went on to study at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her field work experiences ranged from U.S. Geological Survey work to protecting important cave sites from vandals. […]

El Rancho Vegas

On April 3rd 1941, the El Rancho Vegas opened on Highway 91, (opposite today’s Sahara Hotel and Casino) on what was to become the Las Vegas Strip; the first large successful hotel and casino operation outside of downtown Las Vegas. The El Rancho Vegas was also the first true ‘resort’, built in an Old West […]
Portrait of Polly Gonzalez when she was news anchor at KLAS Channel.

Polly Gonzalez

Polly Gonzalez was the first Latina evening news anchor in Nevada.  she died March 28th 2005 in a car crash on the way to look at the desert wildflowers of Death Valley. Her two young daughters survived the accident. Born in San José, CA., where she also attended college, Polly began her career in Monterey. […]