1950-1999 Did You Know Henderson

Henderson's Post-War Boom and Diversification (1950-1969)

In the 1950s, Henderson, NV, began a remarkable transformation. This era was defined by rapid growth and diversification. The city, once reliant on wartime industries, started shaping its peacetime identity.

The Rise of Residential and Commercial Development (1950-1959)

The 1950s in Henderson were marked by a housing boom. With the war over, people sought peaceful suburban life. New neighborhoods sprung up, accommodating the growing population. The city expanded beyond its original industrial core.

Commercial development also took off. Henderson welcomed new businesses, from retail stores to restaurants. This growth reflected the city’s evolving economic landscape. The city was becoming more than an industrial hub; it was turning into a thriving community.

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1950-1999 Did You Know...

Incorporation as a City (1953): Henderson was officially incorporated as a city on April 16, 1953, marking its transition from an industrial town to a self-governed city.

First Shopping Mall (1960s): In the 1960s, Henderson opened its first shopping mall, bringing a new era of retail and social gathering places to the city.

Green Valley Development (1978):  In 1978, the development of Green Valley, the first master-planned community in Henderson, began, setting a precedent for future community planning in the city.

Lake Mead Parkway (Late 1980s): The construction of Lake Mead Parkway in the late 1980s greatly improved access to Lake Mead, boosting Henderson’s recreational and tourism opportunities.

Henderson Pavilion (1999): In 1999, the Henderson Pavilion, the largest outdoor amphitheater in Nevada, was opened, enhancing the city’s cultural and entertainment offerings.

Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden (1981): Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden, one of the world’s largest collections of its kind, was established in Henderson in 1981.

Bird Viewing Preserve (Late 1990s):  In the late 1990s, Henderson established a Bird Viewing Preserve, attracting birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts from across the region.

Population Boom (1990s): Did During the 1990s, Henderson was among the fastest-growing cities in the United States, with its population nearly tripling during the decade.

Sunset Station Hotel and Casino (1997): Sunset Station Hotel and Casino, one of Henderson’s largest hotel-casinos, opened in 1997, significantly contributing to the city’s economy and entertainment scene.

Henderson’s First Library (1954): Henderson’s first standalone public library opened in 1954, reflecting the city’s growing emphasis on community services and education.

Galleria at Sunset Opening (1996): Galleria at Sunset, a significant shopping center in Henderson, opened its doors, becoming a major retail hub in the city.

Henderson’s First Hospital (1956):  Rose de Lima Hospital, Henderson’s first hospital, opened in 1956, significantly improving healthcare access for residents.

Expansion of Nevada State College (1999):  In 1999, Nevada State College chose Henderson as its home, marking a significant development in higher education for the city.

McCarran International Airport Proximity (1950s): The growth of McCarran International Airport in the 1950s positively impacted Henderson’s development, making the city more accessible to tourists and business travelers.

Creation of Lake Las Vegas (1991):  The man-made Lake Las Vegas was created in 1991, becoming a luxurious residential and recreational area near Henderson.

Black Mountain Recreation Center (1994):  Black Mountain Recreation Center opened in 1994, providing Henderson residents with a wide range of recreational activities and facilities.

First Henderson Heritage Parade (Mid-1950s): Henderson’s first Heritage Parade took place in the mid-1950s, starting a tradition celebrating the city’s history and community spirit.

Acacia Demonstration Gardens (Late 1990s):  In the late 1990s, Henderson established the Acacia Demonstration Gardens, showcasing water-smart landscaping and sustainable gardening practices.

Whitney Mesa Nature Preserve (1990s): Whitney Mesa Nature Preserve was established in the 1990s, offering Henderson residents a natural retreat with trails and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Henderson International School (1992): In 1992, Henderson International School opened, providing a global education perspective to local students.

Historic Water Street District Revitalization (1980s):  Henderson began revitalizing its historic Water Street District, transforming it into a vibrant center for businesses and cultural activities.

Touro University Nevada (Late 1990s): Touro University Nevada selected Henderson as the location for its medical and health sciences campus, furthering the city’s educational landscape.

Henderson Space and Science Center Plans (1990s): In the 1990s, plans were made for the Henderson Space and Science Center, aiming to bring a state-of-the-art educational facility to the city.

Fiesta Henderson Casino Hotel (1998):  Fiesta Henderson Casino Hotel was opened, adding to the city’s growing list of entertainment and hospitality venues.

Silver Springs Recreation Center (1996):  Silver Springs Recreation Center opened, offering Henderson residents additional options for fitness, sports, and community events.

Henderson’s Population Milestone (1980): In 1980, Henderson’s population surpassed 30,000, a significant milestone reflecting the city’s rapid growth and development.

Valley Automall Opening (1995): Valley Automall was opened, becoming one of the largest auto malls in the United States and a major economic driver for Henderson.

Henderson Public Libraries Expansion (1990s): During the 1990s, Henderson experienced a significant expansion of its public library system, emphasizing the city’s commitment to education and community resources.

Henderson Symphony Orchestra Formation (1987): Henderson Symphony Orchestra was formed, enriching the city’s cultural life with classical music performances.

River Mountains Loop Trail (1990s):  In the 1990s, the River Mountains Loop Trail was developed, providing a scenic outdoor trail for biking and hiking around Henderson.

Henderson’s First Mayor, Jim Gibson (1953): Jim Gibson, the first mayor of Henderson after its incorporation, played a significant role in guiding the city’s early growth and development.

Stephanie Street Power Plant (1957): Stephanie Street Power Plant began operations, significantly improving the power infrastructure in Henderson.

Henderson’s First High School (1956): Henderson’s first high school, Basic High School, opened in 1956, marking a milestone in the city’s educational development.

Morrell Park Establishment (1971):  Morrell Park, one of Henderson’s most beloved public parks, was established in 1971, offering recreational facilities and green space for residents.

Henderson Home News Expansion (1950s):  In the 1950s, the Henderson Home News greatly expanded its circulation and coverage, becoming a key source of local news and information.

Skyline Casino Opening (1952):  Skyline Casino, one of Henderson’s earliest casinos, opened in 1952, setting the stage for the city’s future in gaming and entertainment.

Historic Eldorado Casino (1962): Historic Eldorado Casino opened in Henderson, becoming a landmark in the city’s downtown area.

Arroyo Grande Sports Complex (1990s):  In the 1990s, the Arroyo Grande Sports Complex was established, significantly enhancing Henderson’s sports and recreational facilities.

Henderson’s First Public Pool (1956): Henderson opened its first public swimming pool, providing a new recreational facility for the community.

Union Pacific Railroad Depot (1950s): In the 1950s, the Union Pacific Railroad Depot played a significant role in Henderson’s development, facilitating transport and trade.

Lake Mead Cruises Start (1990s):  In the 1990s, Lake Mead Cruises began offering boat tours, becoming a popular tourist attraction near Henderson.

Green Valley High School Opening (1991):  Green Valley High School, a major educational institution in Henderson, opened its doors in 1991.

Henderson’s First Community Center (1978):  Henderson opened its first community center, providing a space for social, educational, and recreational activities.

Anthem Community Development (Late 1990s):   The master-planned community of Anthem began development in the late 1990s, significantly expanding Henderson’s residential landscape.

Henderson’s Silver Springs Recreation Center (1998):  Silver Springs Recreation Center opened, offering state-of-the-art facilities for sports, fitness, and community gatherings.

Heritage Park Aquatic Complex (1990s): Henderson’s Heritage Park Aquatic Complex, a premier aquatic facility, was opened in the 1990s, featuring indoor pools and water features.

Expansion of St. Rose Dominican Hospital (1990s): St. Rose Dominican Hospital underwent significant expansion, enhancing medical services available to Henderson residents.

Henderson’s First Senior Facility (1980s):  In the 1980s, Henderson opened its first facility dedicated to seniors, providing a hub for activities, health services, and community engagement.

Wildhorse Golf Club (1959): Wildhorse Golf Club, one of Henderson’s earliest golf courses, opened in 1959, adding to the city’s recreational amenities.

Pittman Town Annexation (1950s): In the 1950s, Henderson annexed the nearby town of Pittman, expanding its city boundaries and population.

Henderson’s First Movie Theater (1960s): Henderson opened its first movie theater in the 1960s, becoming a popular entertainment venue for residents.

Boulder Highway Beautification (1990s):  In the 1990s, the Boulder Highway in Henderson underwent a significant beautification project, enhancing one of the city’s major thoroughfares.

Henderson’s First Chamber of Commerce (1950s): Henderson established its first Chamber of Commerce in the 1950s to support local businesses and economic development.

Green Valley South Development (1980s):  In the 1980s, the development of Green Valley South began, further expanding Henderson’s array of master-planned communities.

Henderson Police Department Formation (1953): Henderson Police Department was officially formed in April 1954, shortly after the city’s incorporation, to provide law enforcement services to the community.

Clark County Museum Foundation (Late 1990s):  In the late 1990s, the Clark County Museum Foundation was established in Henderson, helping preserve and showcase the region’s rich history.

Coral Academy of Science (1999): Coral Academy of Science, a significant educational institution, opened its doors in Henderson.

Henderson International Airport Expansion (1990s): In the 1990s, Henderson Executive Airport underwent an expansion, enhancing its capabilities as a key regional airport.

Introduction of Henderson Dial-a-Ride (1980s):  In the 1980s, Henderson introduced the Dial-a-Ride service, providing convenient transportation options for seniors and people with disabilities.

Sun City Anthem Development (Late 1990s):  In the late 1990s, the development of Sun City Anthem, a large retirement community, began, adding to Henderson’s reputation as a desirable location for retirees.

Educational and Recreational Growth (1960-1969)

The 1960s saw Henderson focus on education and recreation. New schools were built, catering to the young population. These institutions became community cornerstones, fostering education and social ties.

Recreational facilities, including parks and community centers, were established. These spaces provided residents with leisure and sports opportunities. Henderson was becoming a city where families could thrive and enjoy a high quality of life.

Henderson in the Late 20th Century: Expansion and Modernization (1970-1989) (

As Henderson moved into the late 20th century, it continued to expand and modernize. The city embraced new technologies and industries, further diversifying its economy..

Technological Advancements and Economic Diversification (1970-1979)

The 1970s marked a period of technological growth in Henderson. The city attracted high-tech industries, from aerospace to electronics. This shift brought new job opportunities, drawing skilled workers to the area.

Economic diversification was a key theme of this decade. Henderson was no longer just a mining town. It was becoming a center for innovation and technology. This transformation played a crucial role in the city’s economic stability.

Henderson's Urban Development and Cultural Flourishing (1980-1989)

The 1980s in Henderson were characterized by urban development. The city’s infrastructure improved, with new roads and public facilities. Henderson was preparing for the future, laying the groundwork for continued growth.

This era also saw a cultural flourishing. The city hosted various cultural events, from art exhibitions to music festivals. These events added to the city’s vibrancy, making it a more attractive place to live and visit.

Henderson's Journey Towards the Millennium (1990-1999)

The 1990s in Henderson were a prelude to the new millennium. The city continued to grow, embracing its role as a key player in the region.  Henderson’s economy remained stable and diverse in the early 90s. The city successfully balanced industrial, technological, and commercial sectors. This economic stability was crucial for the city’s resilience.  Community engagement flourished during this time. Residents actively participated in city planning and events. This involvement strengthened the community bond, making Henderson a more cohesive and vibrant city.


As we all know, Henderson is an exciting city and is really a 24/7 city.  To list the city highlights of decades to a small list is really an injustice.  Space is limited. However, if you think we left an important date out of our list, please click the contact button below and share your information. Thank you.

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