The Peg and George E. Crockett Family Photographs (approximately 1940-2008) are comprised of aerial photographs of Alamo Airport (later McCarran International Airport) and the surrounding Las Vegas Valley in the 1940s and 1950s. Photographs of the interior, exterior, and airfield at Alamo Airport document the early stages of what is now one of the busiest international airports in the United States. The collection also contains audiovisual material, which depict events including the Miss Rodeo America pageant and the Sahara Cup boat races on Lake Mead, and locations including Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada and Hoover Dam. A significant portion of the collection consists of photographs of the Crockett family at various events, on family vacations, and their home in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Scope and Contents Note
The Peg and George E. Crockett Family Photographs (approximately 1940-2008) are comprised of aerial photographs of Alamo Airport (later McCarran International Airport) and the surrounding Las Vegas Valley in the 1940s and 1950s. Photographs of the interior, exterior, and airfield at Alamo Airport document the early stages of what is now one of the busiest international airports in the United States. The collection also contains audiovisual material, which depict events including the Miss Rodeo America pageant and the Sahara Cup boat races on Lake Mead, and locations including Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada and Hoover Dam. A significant portion of the collection consists of photographs of the Crockett family at various events, on family vacations, and their home in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Crocketts traveled extensively and the collection contains photographs that document trips to Africa, Italy, Greece, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia, as well as family trips to Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park. This collection also contains digital reproductions of select photographs.
Collection is open for research. Arrangements must be made in advance to access digital files; please contact UNLV Special Collections and Archives for additional information.
Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.
Materials are arranged by subject.
Biographical / Historical Note
George E. Crockett was born on March 31, 1912 in Unionville, Missouri. He graduated from Unionville High School in 1928 and entered Jefferson City Flight Aviation School in Jefferson City, Missouri, where he earned his pilot’s license. Crockett flew mail planes in the early 1930s, worked in a grocery store in Nebraska, and traveled to small towns to be the Master of Ceremonies for amateur talent shows to supplement his income. The Wincharger Corporation of Sioux City, Iowa, hired Crockett in 1936 as a sales representative for their wind-powered electrical generators. The company provided an aircraft and he flew to and from different state fairs selling generators. In 1940, Crockett began working for the Stinson Aircraft Corporation, selling planes to corporations and commercial airlines. One of his sales routes took him between Los Angeles, California and Salt Lake City, Utah and he landed in Las Vegas, Nevada on one of his trips. Crockett was so impressed with the area and community that he relocated to Las Vegas shortly after. In 1942, he opened Crockett Field, later known as Alamo Airport.
Crockett quickly became involved in the development of aviation in Nevada. In 1945, he founded and was the first president of the Nevada State Airmen Association (NSAA). Within two months of its founding, NSAA had more than two hundred members. In 1964, Crockett became the president of the National Aviation Trades Association. In 1967, he sold his business to Howard Hughes' Summa Corporation and retired.
Crockett married Evangelyn Lingren in 1936, and they had three children: George MacArthur "Mac", Ernest David, and Darla Jean. Crockett later married Margaret "Peg" Nickerson in 1948 and the couple had three children: Henry, Caty, and Donnie. George Crockett died on May 20, 1990 in Las Vegas, Nevada. On June 21, 1995, a street that intersects Las Vegas Boulevard south of Russell Road near McCarran Airport was dedicated in his honor.
"McCarran Founder Honored." Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 21, 1995: 19.
George E. Crockett opened Crockett Field (later known as Alamo Airport or Alamo Airfield) in 1942, which increased commercial traffic to and from Las Vegas, Nevada and was the original location for what is now McCarran International Airport.
George E. Crockett purchased planes and equipment from an Iowa company that had gone out of business and leased land south of Las Vegas, Nevada for an airfield. After clearing a dirt strip and building a "gas shack" and water tank, Crockett opened Alamo Airport in 1942. The original airfield used in Las Vegas, Nevada was the Las Vegas Army Airfield, located on what is now Nellis Airforce Base. However, in 1941, the United States Army took control over the Army Airfield due to wartime need and Crockett Field became the commercial airfield for the city.
In 1948, Crockett agreed to relinquish his rights to a 99-year government lease back to Clark County, and the airfield was rededicated as McCarran Field on December 19, 1948. In return, the county allowed him to continue operating his air service and fixed-base operations as Alamo Airways. After the county completed their new terminal on South Las Vegas Boulevard and built permanent runways, Alamo Airways expanded, eventually offering complete civil and charter services, aircraft sales, a government-approved maintenance shop, lodging, rental cars, restaurant, and lounge.
In the 1950s, Alamo Airways provided support to military aircraft involved in the above-ground nuclear testing program at the Nevada Test Site, located northwest of Las Vegas. In 1959, Alamo supported the World Congress of Flight held in Las Vegas, and was also involved with the 1958-1959 World Endurance Flight. In 1967, Howard Hughes' Summa Corporation bought the facility and renamed the airport McCarran International after Senator Pat McCarran. As of 2020, McCarran International Airport is the fifth busiest in the United States and tenth in the world.
“George E. Crockett,” McCarran International Airport. https://www.mccarran.com/NVAHOF/BiosTouchScreen/Crockett.
“October 14, 2011 Day of Enshrinement: George E. Crockett.” Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame. http://www.nvahof.org/hof/george_crockett/
"McCarran Airport History," Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1998 June 11: 63.
Peg and George E. Crockett Family Photographs, approximately 1940-2008. PH-00431. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Materials were donated by the Las Vegas Archive via Marilyn Gubler in 2020; accession number 2020-073.
Tammi Kim accessioned the materials in 2020. Digital files were transferred from an external hard drive to secure networked storage. In 2020, Sarah Jones arranged, rehoused, and described the collection and entered the data into ArchivesSpace.