Duke and I have joined the Reno Newcomers Club. It is a very active group of over 1000 people with lots of activities. A couple of weeks ago we went to the welcome coffee, got the newsletter, paid our dues and joined. We went to our first event last night. The Let's Learn About Nevada Meeting was held at the Coney Island Bar one of the oldest establishments in Sparks. Named Coney Island because there used to be an amusement park across the street. It was originally a tamale factory.
The speaker for the meeting was Guy Rocha, the soon to retire Nevada State Archivist. He talked about the importance of getting historical facts right. A few of the facts he talked about include:
- The dome on the Nevada state capitol is not now and never has been made of silver.
- When Reno was the divorce capital of the country the 'tradition' of going form the courthouse to the Virginia Street bridge was created by a marketing brochure and the movies.
- The name Nevada is from the Spanish word nevada for snowfall. Sierra Nevada in Spanish means snowy sawtooth mountains.
- The iceberg should not have sunk the Titanic. The Titanic broke up and sank so quickly because it was built with defective rivets.
- Nevada senator Key Pittman who served in the US senate from 1913 from 1940 was not kept on ice so that he could be elected after he died. He had heart attack before the election and died a few days later.
- Our speaker Guy Rocha would be interested in the position of Archivist of the United States.
Guy Rocha said "Ultimately I believe the truth matters."