Henderson Historical Society Projects & Events

Henderson Speaks

The future interviews the past

Henderson SpeaksOne of the first projects of HHS is to gather stories from early Henderson residents (1942 to the 1980s). The stories will be used to preserve the history of the area, to enhance library and museum collections, and to provide content for the HHS Website. Stories of Old Henderson will help fulfill the Society’s mission and will provide teaching/learning resources for generations of newcomers and school children. Such resources are invaluable in preserving history and for welcoming new residents and their children into the life of the community. The stories might be about the building of the Basic Magnesium Plant, mining stories, the first buildings in town, Henderson’s Native American past, Henderson schools, growing up in Henderson, water and scathing heat. Henderson Speaks is hoping to involve schools, museum staff, library staff and community volunteers in gathering and recording the stories of Henderson’s older residents before they are lost forever. Please call and our volunteers will answer your questions and schedule you for a pleasant storyteller’s experience.


Our next “ Henderson Speaks” lecture features Nevada Historians on the topics of:

The Economic Impact of the Henderson industrial plants on Southern Nevada before and during World War II

Labor and Race Relations at the World War II-era BMI Plants

When: Friday, October 11, 2013
Where: CSN-College of Southern Nevada, Henderson
Campus, Caesar J. Caviglia Academic Building
700 College Dr. Henderson, NV 89002

Lecture Room: John C. Kish Auditorium

Time: 6:30 PM

Download our event flyer



Former Governor and U.S. Senator Richard Bryan

A native Nevadan, Senator Bryan began his legal career in 1964 as a Deputy District Attorney in Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada. Two years later, he was named Clark County’s first Public Defender. Bryan was elected in 1968 to the Nevada State Assembly and then served a second term in 1970. In 1972, he was elected to the State Senate and re-elected in 1976. The former prosecutor won his first statewide election as Nevada’s Attorney General where he played a major role in successfully defending Nevada’s gaming regulatory structure in the Federal Courts. In 1982, he was elected to the first of two terms as Governor. Under his leadership as Nevada’s Governor, economic diversification and the attraction of new businesses to Nevada became a priority. In 1988 he was elected to the first of two terms in the U.S. Senate. He was the only Senate member to simultaneously serve on these U.S. Senate Committees: Finance; Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Banks, Housing and Urban Affairs.

Nevada State Archivist Mr. Guy Rocha

Born in California, Guy Louis Rocha grew up in Las Vegas. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse

University in New York and a master’s degree from San Diego State University and did post-graduate study at the University of Nevada, Reno. He was State Archivist at the State Library & Archives for twenty-eight years. He managed Nevada’s Archives, Records Management, and Micrographics and Imaging programs. Common cause of Nevada awarded him its 1997 “Ethics in Government Award.” U. S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid appointed Rocha to the Advisory Committee on the Records of Congress in April 2005, and he was reappointed by Senator Reid, the Majority Leader, in March 2007.

Guy Rocha was honored with the 2007 Award of Merit for Leadership in History by the American Association for State and Local History. Mr. Rocha has published two books and written numerous articles and book reviews. He started publishing his popular “Historical Myth of the Month” column in the Sierra Sage in 1986. The column is posted on the Nevada State library and Archives website.


Dr. Peter La Chappelle, Associate Professor of History, Nevada State College

Dr. La Chapelle is Associate Professor of History at Nevada State College in Henderson, Nevada, where he has taught for the last seven years. La Chapelle is the author of Proud to Be an Okie: Cultural Politics, Country Music, and Migration to Southern California (University of California Press, 2007), which received an honorable mention for the Urban History Association’s Kenneth Jackson Award for Best Book on Urban History. A former journalist, La Chapelle is adviser to NSC’s student newspaper, the Scorpion’s Tale, and is working to develop an undergraduate oral history project focused on Henderson’s rich community history. Dr. La Chapelle received NSC’s iTeach Award for Teaching Excellence in 2009. He is currently working on a more general book on the history of country music and its intersection with politics.

If you have a story that “speaks to you,” help bring Henderson’s past to life by contacting Rick Watson at: (702) 260-9946.