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Henderson History, Nevada

Henderson is a city in Nevada that is 55 years old.  Henderson emerged during the 1940s in order to supply the United States with magnesium, which was known as a miracle metal, for World War II.  Even though the city was born in defense of America, Henderson’s future was not certain until 1953 when the incorporation papers of the city were signed.

With the city's building of a plant for magnesium, the War Department of the United States was supplied with magnesium used for incendiary casings of munitions, as well as for frames, airplane engines, and other things.  Fred Gibson, the mayor’s father at the time, was one of Henderson's original engineers who went to Great Britain in order to learn how they create the so called miracle metal, which eventually helped the United States, as well as their allies, to win World War II.

However, by 1947 the production of magnesium wasn't necessary for defense anymore and many of the employees of the plant had moved away.  The enrollment of kids into schools declined by 66 percent, and much more than half of the houses in the town were vacated.  The War Asset Administration of the United States placed Henderson up for sale in 1947 as war property.

The Nevada Legislature made an effort in order to save Henderson, spending a weekend in the city to evaluate the potential for a Basic Magnesium state administration.  Within only days of their visit, it was unanimously approved that the Nevada Colorado River Commission could have authority for buying the industrial plants.  With the local industry's help, Henderson was incorporated officially on 16 April in 1953.  In May of that same year, the city had 7,410 people living there who elected their first town Mayor, Dr. Jim French.

The slogan of the city became “A Place to Call Home”, reflecting the community that likes having the values of a small town while reaping the benefits from the efficiencies of a big city.  There has been an increase in the number of casino resorts, movie theaters, shopping malls, and restaurants, which offer residents and travelers a large number of things to do for leisure.  Henderson is also a bordering city to Las Vegas, lying very close to the Las Vegas Strip. 

The city boasts the biggest recreational facility as well, called the Multigenerational Facility of Liberty Pointe, not to mention the only Bird Preserve in Nevada.  There are also a number of cultural events that are held at Henderson's outdoor amphitheater, which is the biggest one in the state.

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