Evolution of a Black Community in Las Vegas: 1905 - 1940
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Essay by Roosevelt Fitzgerald exploring the history of the black community in Las Vegas from its founding in 1905 through the 1930s.
THE EVOLUTION OF A BLACK COMMUNITY IN LAS VEGAS: 1905-1940 by Roosevelt Fitzgerald This paper will explore the evolution of a visible black community in Las Vegas, Nevada from its founding in 1905 through the 1930s. The area of Las Vegas which became the geographic location of the black community was first surveyed and platted in 1904 by John T. McWilliams, for whom it was originally named (Paher, 1971: 70). He expected that the new railroad town would be located there and that he would eventually profit from it. The township was not originally planned to be a black community. If anything no thought was given to the presence of a black population at all. After all, in the entire state at that time, there were less than three hundred blacks and the majority of them lived in the northern portion of the state (Sixteenth Census, 1940: 722). Among the construction workers who brought the railroad to what became Las Vegas could be found a few black men. They lived in railroad worker camps and those who remained behind as part of the maintenance crew would later live in railroad dormitories near the roundhouse and depot which were where the present-day Union Plaza Hotel is located. Those quarters were located in the Clark Townsite and not in McWilliams Townsite. McWilliams' dream of having a town located on his townsite did not come to pass. Initially, there had been some activity there. Between October 1904 and the first months of 1905, before the railroad and its subsidiary—the Las Vegas Land and Water Company--conducted a land auction in present-day downtown Las Vegas on May 15, 1905, a "Ragtown" with 1,500 residents, stores, bars and other businesses had developed (Paher, 70). Following the auction and the beginning of development of the Clark Townsite, interest in the McWilliams Townsite began to diminish and its residents began to desert it in droves as they went bag and baggage to establish themselves in the official railroad town (Ibid. 87). -2- Las Vegas was officially incorporated following the land auction in 1905. During its early years of settlement there were a few black per-manent residents. While their numbers might have been small, they were sufficient to cause the local agent of the Las Vegas Land and Water Company such concern that by 1909 he had become interested in restricting their place of habitation to Block Seventeen, which was adjacent to Block Sixteen—the "red light" district. He felt that such precautions should be taken because "Our colored population, Mexicans, etc., is growing very rapidly and unless we have some place for this class of people they will be scattered all through our town" (Bracken, 1909). The agent, Walter Bracken, sustained his efforts to segregate Las Vegas, sporadically, during the two year period between 1909-1911 (Bracken, 1911). His attempt to restrict "colored" people and others to Block Seventeen never bore fruit even though a good percentage of Las Vegas' black population did buy lots there due to a reduction in the price of those lots (Ibid.). The company headquarters in Los Angeles did not approve a formal segregation policy. Even though the first church in Las Vegas had been founded in 1905 and was, of necessity, ecumenical, the handful of black Las Vegans conducted their church services in private homes until after 1916 when Rev. J. L. Collins of Goldfield arrived as the church pastor. Upon being introduced by Dr. Murtaugh, who was also white, Rev. Collins said that "he did not want to be regarded as just the pastor of the Methodist Church but rather as a minister to the people and stood ready to help in any way that his services might be needed" (New Minister Arrives", 1916). Of Las Vegas' 1,500 residents, fewer than forty of them were black and they apparently did not attend church services at First Methodist. Less than three months after Collins' arrival, in early January of the following year, he "assisted in the organization of Zion Rest -3- Mission of the M.E. Church for the benefit of the colored people of Las Vegas (Zion Rest Mission", 1917). The Mission began with only fourteen members. Mrs. L. H. Irving served as class leader, Mrs. E. J. Davis was secretary, Miss Minnie Mitchell was assistant secretary and Mrs. P. W . Wallace was treasurer. Services were conducted at the Johnson home on Thursday evenings and Bible study was held on Sunday afternoons (Ibid.). A similar circumstance existed with the Catholic Church. Father Van Skee, the assistant pastor of St. Joan of Arc, initiated religious training for black children at St. Joan's but conducted Mass at private black homes until St. James Catholic Church was erected in the McWilliams townsite in 1940. Following the construction of St. James, the majority of the black and Hispanic Catholics of the community attended services there. In secular matters, there is some evidence of a degree of integration. In 1910, something called a "Darktown Ball" was held in Las Vegas. It was reported that: The Fraternal Brotherhood's Darktown Ball was a decided success. Mr. and Mrs. Sanderson were awarded the prize in the cake walk. Harry Beall, costumed in black and white striped evening suit was very popular, also the colored dude with Black Prince Albert coat and sunflower button hole boquet (sic)" ("Darktown Ball", 1910). The distinction made in identifying the one attendee as "colored", by in-ference suggests that those others mentioned in the report were not. It is noteworthy also that others who were mentioned in that "society" article were identified by name while the one was simply "the colored dude." The practice of not ascribing names to black people was quite common nationally during that period. Referring to blacks simply as "colored", "darky", "rastus", "uncle", "auntie" or "boy" was the more accepted practice. In 1909 the National Association For the Advancement of Colored People, -4- which grew out of the Niagara Movement was founded. Beginning before the turn of the century, with the Supreme Court ruling in the Plessy v Ferguson Case of 1896, black people had experienced a rapid deterioration of citizen-ship rights. Segregation was in and equality was out. Race riots and lynchings abounded. The NAACP grew out of efforts to curb the violence and restore rights to black people which had been lost at the end of Reconstruction Nine years after its founding, in October of 1918, efforts were made to found a chapter of the NAACP in Las Vegas, Nevada. The impetus for that effort occurred a month earlier on September 8. The Las Vegas Age ran an article in which Sheriff Sam Woodard, who was seeking reelection, stated that he was indeed interested in the "Colored vote" ("Sheriff Woodard ",1918). Those black Las Vegans who laid the groundwork for organizing a chapter of the NAACP did participate in political matters. While there is no record of any black candidates in early politics their votes, nonetheless in the small community of Las Vegas with so few voters overall, could have been influential. The black population of Las Vegas in 1918 was less than forty and most became politically active. Among the leaders were Joe Lightfoot and Abraham Mitchell, whose ranch in Paradise Valley usually served as a meeting place. Mitchell was one of the first blacks to settle in Las Vegas Valley. He acquired forty acres of land by homesteading and raised vegetables, which he sold in town. Ralph Simpson, who also homesteaded forty acres, had a ranch near Mitchell's. Others who were active included Howard Washington, who came to Las Vegas with his parents in a covered wagon from Milford, Utah in 1914, just nine years after the auction, J.R. Johnson, who owned a -5- great deal of real estate in the downtown area, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Nettles, Mr. and Mrs. Levi Irving and Issac Pulliam ("Las Vegas' Black Pioneers", 1972). Blacks owned property within several different blocks of early Las Vegas and experienced no difficulties in making those purchases (Ibid). Mr. and Mrs. Jack Lowe, who had arrived in 1910, purchased property on the south-west corner of Second and Ogden in Block Seventeen. Abraham Mitchell, in addition to his ranch in Paradise Valley, also owned property adjacent to the downtown Post Office (Ibid). In 1917, the Supreme Court, in the case of Buchanan v Warley, ruled it unconstitutional to restrict the place of habitat for blacks to certain sections of any town or city or metropolitan area (Franklin, 1980: 320). However, such discrimination did sometimes occur. The following year Tom Williams, a land developer from Utah, came to Las Vegas and bought 150 acres of land near the Stewart Ranch. Plans were announced for the formation of a new townsite where there would be no taxes, no licenses and no Negroes (Lewis, 1979: 48). The townsite was originally called Vegas Verdes but was later changed to North Las Vegas and during its early years blacks were not allowed to purchase property there. It would be another thirty years with the 1943 decision of the Supreme Court in the Shelley v Kraemer case that racially restricted covenants would be ruled in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (Mendelson, 1962: 126n). Following the showing of Birth Of A Nation, the next decade and a half witnessed a rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan. Chapters appeared throughout the United States and, as we entered the 1920s, it found its way to Nevada ("Klan In Nevada", 1924). The Klan experience in the state during that period did not meet much -6- success. Its failure was due, in part, to the scarcity of black people in the state. Nevada's total black population in 1920 was only 246 and by 1930 it had grown only to 516 (Sixteenth Census, 1940: 722). The Klan's attempt to capitalize on Americanism, patriotism, moralism, nativism and prohibition was short lived. Efforts to establish a Klavern in Las Vegas, while not well received, brought the spectre of racism to the surface. In 1924 a Klan parade was held on Fremont Street ("Klan Parade", 1924). Black Las Vegans, afterwards, were unable to determine with any degree of certainty, who among the town's white residents had donned the hoods and who had not (Amos Delaney Lecture, 1974). The following year, Fred Hesse was elected the sixth mayor of Las Vegas. He vowed that such a parade would never again occur in Las Vegas ("Fred Hesse Elected", 1925). The damage, however, had been done. What had been a community relatively free of racial tensions began to undergo some subtle changes for the worse. In 1923, the year before the Klan parade, Ernest and Lucretia Stevens arrived with their four small children from Idaho to join the small black enclave already here ("Las Vegas' Black Pioneers", 1972). They found black ranchers, farmers, carpenters, plasterers, barbers, domestics, porters, railroad workers, laborers and one mail carrier (Ibid.). While blacks were able to earn a living, there were some employment restrictions which held dire consequences for the future. In 1919 a local newspaper reported on the disposition of the Union Pacific Shop Federation in regard to non-white labor. We the Americans of the entire shopcraft of all departments in the shops and yards on the L.A. that 57 percent of this number are other than white men, of which number about 22 are negroes" (Scallorn, 1931). Black men who worked in the Las Vegas railroad maintenance shop held no top positions(Census Report, 1910). Over the next quarter century, they would experience difficulties in getting promotions within the shop (Delaney Lecture, 1974). Within a few years of their arrival in 1923, the youngest son of Ernest and Lucretia Stevens found employment with the railroad. He recalls that "in the early days most of the local black men worked as machinists, boiler-men that "there was no housing or social segregation in Las Vegas during the mid 1920s" (Ibid.). -8- Housing in Las Vegas remained non-segregated on into and through the 1930s. However, racial attitudes did begin to take a turn for the worse. "Darky" jokes had begun to appear in the newspapers as early as 1921. An example is the following: Two Florida darkies were watching a balloon ascension. The younger darky looked up at the big bag in amazement and then said: "I wonder what keeps that ba-loon up in the air that-a-way?" "Well", replied the older darky, "it is caused by various causes. Sometimes it is caused by one cause and then again, it is caused by another cause" ("Two Florida Darkies", 1921). The following year the local Elks Club staged a minstrel show complete with burnt cork faces ("Elks Club Minstrel Show", 1922). By 1926, the Athletic Club of Las Vegas had become involved in sponsoring minstrel shows. In February of that year, it advertised an upcoming event "featuring six red-hot coon songs" ("Coon Songs", 1926). The ethnophaulistic use of the word "coon" was not new for Las Vegas. As early as its first year of existence, the Arizona Club, one of the saloons located in the newly developing Block Sixteen, incor-porated it (for unknown reasons) into its slogan--"Every Race Has Its Flag But The Coon" ("Every Race Has Its Flag", 1905). Seemingly, the Arizona Club could not make up its mind whether or not to be racist. Within a month, its slogan had become: "The House of Equality" ("House Of Equality", 1905). As the 1920s came to a close, Las Vegas' era of good race relations did so also. None of Las Vegas' second generation of black settlers recalls being told by that first generation of settlers of any racially exclusionary practices existing before the late 1920s (Amos Delaney Lecture, 1974). While it is true that the black population was small during those years, black men who worked with the railroad crews and at other places in the downtown area would frequently stop at the saloons of Block Sixteen for conversation and libation. Even the Arizona Club did not discriminate. However, most of the social interaction of black Las Vegans took place in private homes and especially -9- at the Mitchell ranch which became the hub of social, political and religious activity for black people ("Black Pioneers", 1972). It was at the Mitchell ranch, in late 1928, that "two hundred prominent colored people of this city had a bar-b-que picnic...south of town Sunday. The affair was given to enable the colored voters to meet the Republican candidates and for the purpose of discussing campaign issues" ("Two Hundred Prominent Colored People", 1928). (Las Vegas' black population in 1928 did not quite top the sixty mark. If there were 200 blacks at the gathering, it would have been only 46 short of the total number of blacks in the entire state at that time.) The gathering was well attended by the candidates. Senator Oddie, Congressman Arentz, Sam Platt, George B. Russell and Thomas Lotz were all present for a short time. Joe Lightfoot, president of the local organization of Colored folk presided and called the meeting to order. William Jones acted as toastmaster and introduced the various speakers (Ibid.). Shortly after this gathering, a political organization which would later become associated with the NAACP was established (Ray, 1977). While conditions were not what black Las Vegans would have wanted them to be in 1928, they were able to see that they were not losing ground. Jobs were not in any great abundance but neither were they. A few black artisans had been involved in the construction project of the new high school which would open the following year. Economically, it seemed for the moment that there was no apparent cause for concern. Within a year of that gathering at the Mitchell ranch the bottom fell out of the Stock Market. As the conditions created by the failure of Wall Street worsened, the numbers of the unemployed grew. Traditionally "the last hired and the first fired" and the victims of job discrimination throughout the United States, black people had been, as a group, involved in their own depression long before the onset of the great depression (Shannon, 1965: 193- 194). -10- The unstable economic climate of the times greatly aided the deteriorat-ing racial climate. The newspapers of the day are replete with growing numbers of reports of conflicts and acts of hostility existing between not only black and white Las Vegans but also black and Mexican Las Vegans ("Det-eriorating Racial Relations", 1930). Thomas Sowell describes the condition quite well in saying: ...a certain benign contempt may exist toward a group that is clearly on the bottom and showing no sign of rising. But once they reach the stage of becoming threats to others' jobs or status a much more active and intense hatred may develop. This is sometimes referred to as "good race relations" turning to hostility. Rising ethnic groups are the greatest threat to others at or near the bottom—including other minorities (Sowell, 1975: 162). Las Vegas' economy suffered along with the country. The competition for the few jobs which were available was stiff. Las Vegans knew that the building of Boulder Dam, which had been authorized by Congress would bring relief. Their immediate concern centered around surviving until hiring on that project would begin. As 1930 got underway there was a strong note of optimism for Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Age ran an editorial which read, in part: We believe that Las Vegas today stands on the very threshold of that unparalleled development from which she is to emerge the metropolis of the state of Nevada and one of the great industrial centers of the west ("Unparalleled Development", 1930). It predicted that by the following year the population would have doubled and that construction "and other factors that go to make up a progressive and attractive community" would have taken place (Ibid.). In that same issue we are told that school enrollment had tripled in seven years and that "all crafts in this city [are] now unionized" ("Growth and Economic Development", 1930). The fact that all crafts were unionized by the beginning of 1930 was not a cause for joy for black labor, which had been excluded from membership in these unions since the 1890s. Blacks experienced great difficulty in -11- gaining employment on the several municipal projects which were in progress at that time. Many, in order to make a living, were forced to resort to be-coming involved in illegal activities such as "bootlegging" and "rum-running" ("Illegal Activities", 1932). The evolving perception of blacks and their accompanying treatment, aided by the sagging economy, grew worse. By the time the dam project got underway in 1931, the unemployment figures for the nation were staggering. Many of the unemployed followed whatever leads and rumors of possible work that they became privy to. As early as a year and a half before actual construction got underway on the dam, there had been letters of inquiry received by both the local labor office and the Las Vegas Age newspaper ("Letters Of Inquiry", 1930). Upon completion of the project in 1937, more than 42,000 letters of inquiry/app-lication had been received (Kleinsorge, 1941: 301). Some job seekers arrived without having written with the hope that they would be among the first to be hired. They built shelters of whatever materials they could find. All in all there was created "a pitiful and pathetic sight" ("Pitiful and Pathetic Sight", 1931). There were blacks who sought work among those who came to Las Vegas also and they, like the others, waited for the hiring to begin. Unlike the majority of the others who were allowed to wait and those few who were fortunate enough to find employment with local businesses or contractors on smaller projects, blacks were generally told to move on if they had no visible means of support. One technique used in effecting this was the selective enforcement of vagrancy laws ("Vagrancy Laws", 1932). There is no record of the total number of blacks who came to Las Vegas and then moved on because of their fear of being imprisoned for vagrancy violations but -12- there were many. "Seems like twenty or thirty were coming and going just about every day. Some of them who didn't leave fast enough were picked up by the constables and ended up on the chain gang or put to sweeping the streets and digging ditches for the sewer" (Amos Delaney Lecture, 1974). One victim of what amounted to a system of peonage was "Allen Carter, colored" who "was arrested on complaint of Clay H. Williams, Union Pacific Officer. Carter is alleged to have been trespassing on railroad property without permission" ("Allen Carter Arrested", 1931). Carter was released on $250 bond pending his hearing (Ibid.). For the times and the prevailing economic conditions, the bond was exorbitant. A signal was sent to other minority job hopefuls to get out of town if they could not show a visible means of support. Subsequent reports in the local newspapers illustrate the frequency of similar police action toward minority people ("Vag Roundup", 1930; "Three Rum Raids", 1932; "Many Undesirables", 1931). The population growth which Las Vegas experienced during the 1930s was a result of the onrush of prospective workers on the dam project. Even though black newcomers were kept pretty much on the run, some few did manage to remain and become a part of the town. The decade started with a total population of 5,137, among whom 150 were black. In 1929 there had only been 78 black residents reported in the community. By decade's end, the pop-ulation had increased to 8,422 with 178 blacks. Las Vegas' permanent populat-ion increased more than sixty percent during the ten year period. However, during that time, more than tenfold that number were, for varying periods of time, part of Las Vegas' population. They came from all parts of the country and they brought their values with them. In racial matters, those values were usually anchored in segregation, prejudice and discrimination of either the de facto or de jure variety. The mores and folkways of those places from whence them came were transplanted in Las Vegas. Most of those -13- who arrived here had stereotypical views of black people and those views were not challenged by Las Vegas' rank and file. Local businesses found it both expedient and profitable to latch onto the new order. Along with the discriminatory vagrancy laws, establishments on Block Sixteen and other downtown businesses began to initiate discriminatory practices. The change was not of immediate concern to blacks due to the scarcity of money which they had to patronize such places. Additionally, a good number of those who were recent arrivals were from the south and they were not unaccustomed to such segregated practices; they accepted oppressive practices. The hundred or so new black residents who arrived and remained during that time lived in hastily constructed shacks and shanties in Buol's Town. This area, named after Las Vegas' first Mayor, was located on the northeast corner of Main and Ogden streets adjacent to Block Sixteen. It would be displaced later by expansion and development of the downtown area ("Blacks In Buol's Town", 1934). It was during the first half of the 1930s that the use of "colored section" and "negro quarter" began to appear in the newspapers with some reg-ularity ("Colored Section", 1932; "Negro Quarter", 1933). The area was not part of the original townsite but adjacent to it and just to the north. It included a two block area bounded on the south by Stewart Street and just opposite blocks Sixteen and Seventeen. By the mid 1930s there were a few black owned businesses there (Amos Delaney Lecture, 1974). Those businesses began to appear due to some of the downtown establishments instituting policies of segregation. Those policies were undoubtedly influenced not only by the appearance of many southerners in the Boulder Dam work force,and the erection of an all white town (Boulder City) which, housed many of those workers, but also by the ever increasing numbers of tourists who began arriv-ing as early as 1934. As black businesses appeared in the "colored section", the movement -14- toward segregation became more apparent. "Jake Ensley started the Oklahoma Cafe for Negros and a man called Reid ran a card parlor and pool hall down-town" (Black Pioneers", 1972). Ironically, during that same period, "Marion Wilson opened the Gateway Hotel on Stewart and Main. But although operated by black people, it catered to whites only" (Ibid.). That irony is partially explained by the fact that there was still only a handful of blacks living in Las Vegas and there were very few among the thousands of visitors who came to visit the dam. Other public accommodations instituted similar practices. Areas were set aside in the local movie theaters for black patrons and the swimming pool at Lorenzi Park was off limits (Clarence Ray, 1977). Further, "A separate 'house' on Block 16 employed black girls only" ("Black Pioneers", 1972). Whether or not black men had been received in the "houses" of Block Sixteen before is not known. However, recognizing the nation's views on miscegenation at the time and the fact that interracial marriages were not legal in the state of Nevada until 1959, it is likely that until the "separate house" opened such diversions were not readily available for black men in Las Vegas. The Six Companies conglomerate which was awarded the contract to build Boulder Dam began with various preliminary projects; these included building roads and a railroad from Las Vegas to the dam site and construct-ing Boulder City. Only a handful of blacks were employed on any of those projects. In the actual construction of the dam itself, blacks were not hired until almost a year and a half after the project got underway (Fitzgerald, 1981:259). Boulder City became the official camp for the workers on the dam. Because all of the workers were white, Boulder City became an all-white town. Its beginning introduced southern Nevada to its first officially sanctioned housing segregation. Boulder City officially opened on April 15, 1931 with the opening of the Post Office ("Boulder City Opens", 1931). -15- It remained all-white until Al Brown, a local Las Vegas black entreprenuer, was permitted to operate a shoeshine stand in the recreation hall ("Boulder City's First Black Entreprenuer", 1932). Brown, however, did not reside in Boulder City. The next black to appear on the reservation was one half of a duo who inadvertently arrived there while under the influence. Their stay was short lived, as they were chased off by local security ("Under The Influence In Boulder City", 1932). It would not be until July 8, 1932 that the first blacks would be hired on the dam project ("First Blacks Hired On Dam", 1932). Earlier in the year, in February, the Las Vegas Age ran an editorial in which it described both the project and the workers: When the Hoover Dam has been completed, an average number of nearly 4,000 employees will have rolled up the stupendous number of 71,500,000 man-days worked by the typical dam worker of 37 years of age, white, American born, and repre-senting every state in the union ("Typical Dam Worker", 1932). While blacks were struggling to get jobs on the dam project, conditions for them in Las Vegas were changing for the worse. A few black entrepre-neurs had been located in the downtown area. John T. Cahlan recalls a "Mammy Pinston who used to have what she called a plantation kitchen on Third Street between Ogden and Stewart" (Cahlan, John T., 1970). It is reported that she specialized in southern fried chicken and that her restau-rant was a favorite eating place of a number of people (Ibid.). J.R. Johnson was a plasterer for twenty years until his death in 1932 ("J.R. Johnson Dies", 1932). As the dam got underway and the beginning flow of sightseers got started, A.H. Snead went into the business of selling handouts and brochures which pointed out interesting things to see (David Hoggard, 1973) Ike and Nancy Pullman leased a large section of land on Third Street, where they ran a business as did other blacks in the area. -16- The first years of the 1930s brought about many changes for Las Vegas and the state of Nevada. In 1931 gambling was legalized and in 1933 prohibit-ion was repealed. These two factors, along with the dam being hailed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World", attracted many visitors to Las Vegas, and a period of growth which has not ended began. Unfortunately, Black Las Vegans did not share in this growth, in spite of their long presence in the city. In fact, as outlined in the next chapter, the few blacks in Las Vegas were forced out of the city to a new segregated area which also became the home of most of the new black immigrants. The dam was completed in half the time allocated for the project ("Dam Completed", 1935). Dedication ceremonies took place in late September with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in attendance ("President Dedicates Dam", 1935). Once the project was completed, the population of southern Nevada dwindled to just over 8,000 with approximately178 blacks among these. The latter's population only increased by 28 for the entire decade. During that time of growth and development for Las Vegas, blacks suffered many losses in spite of their efforts to move forward. Not only had they been denied access to jobs on the dam project but they experienced similar difficulties with obtaining work on city, county and state projects ("Envoy Here To Aid Negros In Getting Work", 1933. Segregation even extended to the city jail. In 1932 it was reported that "two sisters, aged 30 and 19, were arrested for prostitution and taken to the county jail instead of the city jail because the one female cell in the city jail was occupied by a 'negress'." ("White Prostitutes Better Than Negro", 1932). Housing remained a problem even after the great majority of workers had departed. This was particularly true in regard to accommodations for tourists. -17- In 1934, more than 365,000 tourists visited the dam ("Tourists", 1935). As downtown Las Vegas changed to better facilitate and accommodate the tourist trade, many blacks, as mentioned earlier, were driven out. They first crowded into the "colored section" but they received no assistance from the local Federal housing office and only aided in making the deplorable conditions which were already present there even worse (Clarence Ray, 1977). They hoped for some relief because of their active involvement in local politics. In the 1935 election, the Colored Voters Committee supported Leonard Arnett, who courted their vote, for Mayor. It was reported that: Leonard Arnett, candidate for office of Mayor of Las Vegas, spoke before an enthusiastic crowd of Colored voters Wednesday evening, April 24. Arnett spoke to the point and gave the voters to understand that the time is at hand to use the ballot for the Greater Las Vegas. His speech was well received by the crowd. Eugene Ward, candidate for third class Commissioner was also there and gave a speech. Judging from Wednesday's enthus-iasm, the Colored voters are lined up solid behind Arnett and Ward ("Colored Voters", 1935). Both candidates won but apparently their understanding of the "Greater Las Vegas" did not include blacks. Over the following four years, conditions for blacks deteriorated to the point "that the great majority of businesses were segregated by the end of the decade. These included the hospital and the graveyard (Clarence Ray, 1977). The decade ended with the introduction of a "Race and Color Bill" in the Nevada Assembly. It would require that all persons, regardless of race or color, be given equal rights in public places. It was opposed by hotel owners and other proprietors and never made it out of the Assembly ("Race And Color Bill", 1939). The beginning of the end of Las Vegas as an integrated community occurred with the construction of and beginning of operations at Basic Magnesium Incorporated in southern Nevada. This story is told in the next chapter. REFERENCES CITED Allen Carter Arrested. (April 2, 1931). Las Vegas Review Journal, p. 1. Blacks In Buol Town. (December 28, 1934). Las Vegas Review Journal, p. 1. Bracken, Walter, (1909). San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad Co. Papers. Special Collections, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Bracken, Walter, (1911). San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad Co. Papers. Special Collections, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Boulder City's First Black Entreprenuer. (February 19, 1932). Las Vegas Review Journal, p. 3. Boulder City Opens. (April 14, 1931). Las Vegas Age, p. 1. Cahlan, John T., "Reminensces of a Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada Newspaperman", University Nevada, Reno, 1970, Colored Section. (March 15, 1932). Las Vegas Age, p. 1. Colored Voters. (April 26, 1935). Las Vegas Age, p. 12. Coon Songs. (February 6, 1926). Las Vegas Age, p. 1. Dam Completed. (September 27, 1935). Las Vegas Age, p. 4. Darktown Ball. (January 21, 1910). Las Vegas Age, p. 4. Delaney. (1974). Lecture delivered by Amos Delaney in class "Blacks in Las Vegas", University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada. Deteriorating Racial Relations. (February 8, 1930). Las Vegas Review Journal, p. 1 Elks Club Minstrel Show. (February 22, 1922). Las Vegas Age, p. 3. Envoy Here To Aid Negros In Getting Work. (November 18, 1933). Las Vegas Review Journal, p. 1. Every Race Has Its Flag. (November 25, 1905). Las Vegas Age, p. 4. First Blacks Hired On Dam. (July 8, 1932). Las Vegas Age, p. 4. Fitzgerald, Roosevelt. (1981). Blacks and the Boulder Dam Project. Nevada Historical Society Quarterly. 3, 259. Franklin, John Hope (1980) From Slavery To Freedom. New York; Alfred A. Knopf. Fred Hesse Elected. (May 8, 1925). Las Vegas Review Journal, p. 1. Growth And Economic Development. (January 1, 1930). Las Vegas Review Journal, p. 4 Hoggard. (1973). Personal interview with David Hoggard, Las Vegas, Nevada. -2- House Of Equality. (November 25, 1905). Las Vegas Age, p. 4. Illegal Activities. (January 25, 1932). Las Vegas Review Journal, p. 3. J. R. Johnson Dies. (September 22, 1932). Las Vegas Age, p. 4. 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- Fitzgerald, Roosevelt
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Discrimination in employment
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