History of Nevada Diversity

Virginia City and Early Nevada Mining

Virginia City and the Comstock Lode played a crucial role in the development of the region and the nation. The news of its importance has reverberated throughout the world for nearly 150 years. The wealth of the Comstock's fabulously rich mines affected presidential politics and gave Nevada international fame. Immigrants arrived from every continent, attracted by legendary amounts of gold and silver, which poured into the economy during the crisis of the Civil War.

Lilly Sanchez

Lilly V. Sanchez was born in Duckwater, Nevada, in 1923 and was raised in a traditional Native American, Western Shoshone family, helping her mother and grandmother gather willows for baskets. After her children were grown, Sanchez reawakened the basket making skills she learned as a child. For more than thirty years she has been creating beautiful cradleboards, winnowing trays, cone baskets, and other traditional forms in willow.

Lilly Fong

Businesswoman Lilly Fong was the first Asian American to serve on the Board of Regents for the Nevada System of Higher Education. She was an advocate for education during her fifty-two years in Las Vegas.

Lilly Ong Hing was born in Arizona on June 17, 1925. She attended Arizona State University and Woodbury College in Los Angeles, where she met future husband Wing Fong. After the couple married in 1950, they moved to Las Vegas, where Wing had grown up.


Fanciful costumes, a rhinestone-studded grand piano, and glowing candelabras were only some of the over-the-top stage props that helped earn Liberace the moniker of "Mr. Showmanship" during a four-decade run in Nevada resort showrooms. The flamboyant pianist with the beaming smile might open a show by flying in on wires, or exit in a bejeweled Rolls Royce while wearing a floor-length fur cape and matching czar's hat.

Leavitt House, Bunkerville, Clark County

Thomas Dudley Leavitt and twenty-two other Latter-day Saints established the utopian community of Bunkerville in 1877 under the leadership of Bishop Edward Bunker.

LDS Moapa Stake Office Building/Virmoa Maternity Hospital, Overton, Clark County

Mormon settlers built the LDS Moapa Stake Office Building/Virmoa Maternity Hospital as a concrete symbol of the Church's principals of community management. An administrative unit, called a "stake," oversees several geographically related groups of churches, called "wards." Each "stake" represents a stake in the tent of Zion, or the Promised Land.


The Wadsworth area was important for settlers as early as 1841, but was not formally established until the railroad arrived. Westbound immigrants, having crossed the Forty-Mile Desert to the east, found the area on the big bend of the Truckee River a welcome place to rest and water livestock. Seasonal trading posts were established by 1854. Wadsworth turned from small settlement to permanent town in 1868, when it was designated as a service station and headquarters for the Central Pacific Railroad's Truckee Division.

Las Vegas Mormon Temple

More sacred than a meeting house, a Mormon temple provides its members with a refuge from the secular world and allows the faithful to partake in important ceremonies. Not every city has a temple, but church leaders try to make them as accessible as possible. To serve its growing Mormon population, in April 1984, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the construction of the Las Vegas temple, which was dedicated in December 1989.

Washoe Basket Weavers

The people of the Washoe tribe of Nevada and California have long practiced the art of weaving. Both men and women created the tools and products necessary to make a living in a land that required seasonal movements. Heavy pottery or bulky wooden items were not suited to this environment nor to the mobile lifestyle of the indigenous people.

Las Vegas Entertainment Headliners 1960s-1980s

Las Vegas has earned its status as "Entertainment Capital of the World," thanks to big-name entertainers who have accented the city's luxurious hotels, myriad gaming options, and all-you-can-eat buffets. But it did not earn that status overnight.


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