%> Nevada Riches: The Land and People of the Silver State
Nevada Government & Politics
World War II & Post-War


The military has long been an important presence in Nevada, dating back to the 1840s when John C. Fremont and fellow members of the Army Topographical Engineers traveled through the landscape that would become Nevada.

In the 20th century, the military presence in Nevada expanded during the Second World War.  The low population in the state, as well as federal ownership of much of the land in Nevada, and generally good flying weather made the state useful for military installations.

The military in Nevada has influenced settlement in the state, in earlier times and more recently.  For example, many of the military personnel who were stationed in Las Vegas during WWII returned when the war was over and settled in the area.  Military bases and personnel have an important economic impact on communities.  The Naval Ammunition Depot, established in Hawthorne in 1930, brought badly needed money and jobs to the community during the Great Depression.

The military presence has not been welcomed by all.  The noise of low-flying jets in Churchill County, which occasionally break the sound barrier and, as a result, windows in homes and businesses, has sometimes been a source of conflict between a community and the military.  Pro and con, the military has been an important element in the history of Nevada.

Photo Credit:
Special Collections, University of Nevada Las Vegas Library