People

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. […]
Bronze statue of Sarah Winnemucca in Washington D.C.

Sarah Winnemucca

Sarah Winnemucca was born around 1844 in what is now Nevada, to Chief Winnemucca of the Paiutes. Her grandfather was Chief Truckee, leader of the Paiute nation, and he influenced her early upbringing and education. By the time she was 14, she spoke five languages, three Native American dialects, English and Spanish.  These skills would […]

Lilly Fong

Lilly Fong (1925-2002) nee Hing, was a champion for education throughout her lifetime. Lilly’s deep-rooted belief in education stemmed from her childhood, instilled by her parents.  Her father was known to quote the teachings of Confucius as he agreed that ‘education was the equalizer of all’ and she, along with her nine siblings, all would gain future college degrees.       Lilly met her husband Wing Fong, while she was studying at […]
Photo of Sarann Knight Preddy

Sarann Knight Preddy

Sarann Knight Preddy (1920-2014) was an entrepreneur, civil rights activist, and the first black woman to receive a gaming license in Nevada.  In 1950, she and her husband moved to Hawthorne, Nevada where she received her gaming license for the Tonga Club; the town’s only gaming establishment for African Americans. When Sarann returned to Las […]
Delphine Squires

Delphine Squires

Delphine Anderson Squires (1868-1961) was matriarch to one of the first families to settle in Las Vegas arriving after her husband in 1906. She possessed a determined pioneering spirit and was an important contributor to the city’s growth as a community. She was known locally as “Mom” and her husband, Charles, as “Pop” Squires. In […]
Victor H. Green

The Green Book

Our Black History traveling trunk contains various objects for students to explore in addition to a video presentation. The item that is included is a 1949 edition of “The Negro Motorist Green Book”. This was an essential US guide for African Americans traveling during the segregation era.  It listed businesses and accommodations that welcomed people […]