The American Red Cross Southern Nevada Chapter Records (1917-2015) include business records, legal and property documents, scrapbooks, photographs, awards and event programs. Also included is documentation of training events in Southern Nevada and disaster relief efforts throughout the country.
Finding Aid PDF
Scope and Contents Note
The American Red Cross Southern Nevada Chapter Records (1917-2015) include administrative records, legal files, event programs and awards, and documentation of disaster relief efforts and community events held by the organization. The collection also contains photographs and scrapbooks documenting the Southern Nevada chapter and the national organization from the 1940s through the 2010s. The collection also contains born-digital image and video files of select "Everyday Heroes" award events from 2015 to 2016.
Collection is open for research. Advance notice and arrangements are required for access to digital files; please contact Special Collections and Archives for more information.
Material 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 topic.
Biographical / Historical Note
American Red Cross activities started in Las Vegas, Nevada in June 1917 with a small group of women who knitted clothing, rolled bandages, and worked in local hospitals. In 1928, Maude Frazier, Superintendent of the Las Vegas School District, formed a junior branch of the Red Cross and mentored many students over the years.
After World War I there was little local activity. Instead, the community responded to disasters in the United States and around the world. During the Great Depression (1929-1934), Las Vegas was flooded with people hoping to find work in construction on the Hoover Dam (Boulder Dam), which was built to harness the Colorado River. Hundreds of people were unable to find employment, shelter, or food because the labor market was already saturated. The Red Cross helped to provide meals, gasoline, and temporary shelter until the journey for employment could be continued. It was during this time, in 1932, that the Clark County Chapter was chartered under its new name.
Las Vegas grew during World War II with the establishment of the Las Vegas Air Force Gunnery Range (later renamed Nellis Air Force Base) in 1940, the ongoing construction of the Basic Magnesium plant, and the construction of the town of Henderson. The housing and entertainment of military personnel were one of the challenges faced by the local Red Cross, when wives, relatives, and friends of the servicemen moved to Las Vegas. The chapter was fulfilling its charter obligations to both the military and the civilian population during this time. Local volunteers responded to the chapter’s appeal for assistance and were trained to provide services.
The Clark County chapter found its first permanent office in 1943 and continued to grow and expand its services and training, including swimming and lifeguard classes, fire and rescue seminars, disaster forums, and fundraising events. The chapter provided assistance in major emergencies in Clark County such as the 1980 MGM Grand fire, the Pepcon explosion in Henderson in 1988, and the Clark County flood in 1999. The Southern Nevada chapter also sent workers and volunteers to Northridge, California after the 1994 earthquake and to the East Coast to assist after Hurricanes Opal and Marilyn struck in 1995.
On January 1, 2001 the Clark County Chapter was renamed the American Red Cross, Southern Nevada Chapter to reflect the fact that the organization is responsible for Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, Laughlin, Sandy Valley, Indian Springs, Goodsprings, Overton, Logandale, Moapa, Mesquite, and the counties of Lincoln, Nye, and Esmeralda.
Birkin, Danielle. “American Red Cross of Southern Nevada Celebrates a Century of Good Works." Las Vegas Sun. Accessed December 9, 2019. https://vegasinc.lasvegassun.com/business/2017/jan/02/a-century-of-good-works/
American Red Cross Southern Nevada Chapter Records, 1917-2015. MS-00600. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Materials were donated in 2013 by Lloyd Ziel, accession number 2013-16. Additional materials were donated by the American Red Cross Southern Nevada Chapter in 2015 and 2016; accession numbers 2015-061, 2015-093, and 2016-022.
Materials were processed by Joyce Moore in 2014. Born-digital image and video files were processed by Tammi Kim in 2016. In 2019, Lauren Paljusaj revised the finding aid.
Further additions to these records are anticipated.