Transcript of interview with Aaron Williams by Claytee D. White, August 16, 2005


Digital ID
Transcript of interview with Aaron Williams by Claytee D. White, August 16, 2005
Material Set
White, Claytee D.
Aaron Williams moved to Las Vegas in 1960 and worked at the Nevada Test Site before serving as North Las Vegas councilman, County Commissioner and community activist. Williams sponsored youth baseball teams in North Las Vegas.
Aaron Williams grew up in Tatum, Texas, and spent his early adult years in Detroit, Michigan, working for the Chrysler Corporation. He joined the Army in 1940 and served in New Guinea and the Philippines, then returned to Detroit to open up a supermarket. A friend in Las Vegas urged him to come out West in 1960. Aaron found work at the Nevada Test Site as a senior clerk. He describes the discrimination he encountered and shares anecdotes about his employment, above-ground testing, and the type of work that blacks did in the tunnels. He remembers living in Tonopah when something went off in Area 51, shaking the whole area. That was when he learned that no one ever mentioned anything they saw, heard, or felt coming from that area. In early 1970's, Mr. Williams ran for and won a council seat in North Las Vegas. He was instrumental in integrating housing communities in that area and starting Little League baseball teams for the children. They played games all over Clark County and in Los Angeles. After four years as City Councilman, Aaron ran for County Commissioner. In that office, he continued his efforts to ensure equal rights in housing and other areas. He recalls that the Black Panthers watched out for his safety. As a commissioner, Mr. Williams worked with the Board of Health, the Gaming Control Board, the Airport Authority, and the Library Board. Mr. Williams recalls individuals he worked with, such as Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Gay, and the mayor of Los Angeles. He remembers the Westside Federal Credit Union, joining the NAACP, and encountering discrimination at one of the first jobs he had at the Sahara Hotel. He shares anecdotes or opinions of Robert Mahew, Steve Wynn, Lubertha Johnson, Ruby Duncan, Mabel Hoggard, and other Las Vegas notables.
Identified Individuals
Identified Corporate Bodies
Identified Neighborhood
North Las Vegas
Neighborhood City / Town
F850.N4.W53 2012
Original Collection
Original Date (interview)
Subject (FAST)
DC Type
Genre (TGM)
Specific Genre (LCSH)
This material may be protected by copyright. Personal, including educational and academic, use of this material is without restriction but acknowledgement of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University Libraries is requested whether the use is oral, web or in print. Commercial use of any portion of this material requires permission from the University Libraries. For further information please contact Digital Collections: This document is an oral history. It is a spoken account of certain events and phenomena recorded at one particular moment and filtered through one individual's life experience, sensibility, and memory. As such, it should be considered a primary source rather than a final, verified, or complete narrative of the events it records.
Digital Publisher
University of Nevada Las Vegas
Digital Collection
Master File Format

Cite this Item

When linking to this object, please use the following URL:,1184



Subscribe to recent comments

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment below!