A GUIDE TO THE RECORDS OF
GOVERNOR PAUL DOMINIQUE LAXALT
Born in Reno on August 2, 1922, Paul Laxalt was raised in Carson City where he opened a law practice. He was elected Ormsby County District Attorney in 1950, Lieutenant Governor in 1962 and Governor in 1966. After a brief return to private law practice, Laxalt was elected U.S. Senator in 1974 and again in 1980. In 1986 he stated that he would not seek re-election. Governor Laxalt now heads the lobbying firm of The Paul Laxalt Group in Washington, D.C.
Records 1958-1970; bulk 1966-1970 68 cu. ft.
The records of Governor Laxalt were created prior to Nevada legislation making governors’ records property of the state and not the office holder. However, Governor Laxalt deposited his records with the Nevada State Archives, restricting access for twenty-five years. The records were opened for research in January, 2009. There are no restrictions on their access or use.
The Laxalt records in the Nevada State Archives consist only of those created during his years as governor and some gubernatorial campaign records. Records of Laxalt’s two terms as a U.S. Senator are at the Special Collections Department of the University of Nevada, Reno (collection 83-01).
The records include the following types, all arranged alphabetically by folder title:
Agency files - correspondence, memos, minutes of meetings, reports, manuals, brochures, forms, proposals, studies, audit reports, court records, police and institutional reports documenting activities of state agencies.
Appointment files - certificates of appointment for governor’s appointees to boards, commissions, and heads of agencies. They may contain correspondence, resumes or biographical sketches, letters of recommendation, notes and similar material.
Associations files - items related to national or regional associations (e.g., National Governors' Association and Western Governors' Association), of which the Governor is a member or has an interest. The files may contain correspondence, notes, agendas, calendars, newsletters, informational brochures and pamphlets, and bound reports.
Boards and Commission Minutes files - copies of minutes of the boards and commission of which the Governor serves as Chairman (Examiners, State Prison Commissioners, and Finance), and of other state boards such as the Board of Health. In addition to minutes, the files may contain agendas, exhibits, appendices, transcripts, reports, announcements, and similar material.
Correspondence files - letters sent or received by the Governor or employees of his office in the performance of governmental duties. The files may contain original correspondence and copies of replies concerning: (1) constituent issues and (2) federal correspondence, i.e., congressional delegation and federal agencies. Correspondence may include: congratulation letters, invitations, thank you letters, citizen and "kid" requests, eccentric letters, alpha and reader files, staff files, memos, and notes.
Extradition files - applications for issuance of requisition of persons wanted by law enforcement officials in other states. They may include an executive warrant; copies of the indictment, complaint, information and affidavits, judgment of conviction, and sentence. The State Attorney General is considered the office of record; extraditions in the governor’s files are samples of requests from other states.
Legislative files - work files tracking the activities of the legislature during legislative sessions. The files may consist of copies of legislative documents (agendas, Senate and Assembly bills and actions, copies of bill draft requests [BDRs], etc.), correspondence, memos, notes, position papers, reports, statistical studies, and newspaper and magazine articles.
Message files - original Governor's messages (sometimes referred to the State of the State Address) to the Legislature delivered at every regular session of the State Legislature summarizing the condition of the State and recommending legislation. Also included are addresses delivered in even-numbered years. The files may consist of messages, notes, charts, graphs and similar material.
News Release files - copies of news releases issued from the Governor's office. The files consist of originals or copies of releases, general correspondence, notes, charts, graphs, and related informational flyers.
Newspaper Clippings - gathered by clipping services or staff and arranged chronologically. They document activities of the governor, selected state agencies, and topics.
Photographs – illustrate the governor’s activities, appearances, events, and visitors to the governor’s office or mansion. Photographs found within folders of the Laxalt collection were separated and stored with other Laxalt photos. A State Archives in-house database provides access by subject, person, or event.
Presentation and Speech files - presentations and speeches delivered by the Governor or his employees in the performance of governmental duties, documenting public appearances, speeches and presentations. The files consist of original or copies of speeches or presentations, and may contain notes, agendas, charts, graphs, brochures, pamphlets, information of organizations and similar material.
Proclamations files - proclamations (sometimes referred to as declarations) issued by the Governor. The files consist of copies of proclamations, general correspondence, requests for proclamations, memos, notes, reports and similar material.
Subject files - correspondence to and from the Governor concerning national and international organizations, the federal government, local governments, other organizations, and subjects of interest. The files may contain correspondence, notes, informational flyers, newsletters, new articles, press clippings, art work, photos and similar material. Important topics in the Laxalt collection include:
• Boulder City – the transfer from federal ownership to Nevada control of Boulder City, including legal documents transferring title and infrastructure to the State of Nevada (1958).
• Civil rights, the Civil Rights Commission, and the Equal Rights of Citizens Commission
• Colorado River Commission, including the Southern Nevada Water Authority.
• Economic Development Agency and the Economic Opportunity Commission and their projects
• Labor issues, including labor strikes and the Las Vegas Taxicab Authority
• Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Regional Protection Agency (TRPA), California-Nevada Interstate Water Compact, Lake Tahoe Bi-State Agency, and Lake Tahoe state parks creation and land acquisition.
• Legislation, the Legislative sessions of 1967 and 1969, the Special Session of 1968, and related topics of meat inspection, sale of McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, ad valorem tax, North Las Vegas annexation, and establishment of community colleges in the state.