Nevada Test Site NSHM 165 is Nevada State Historical Marker number one hundred and sixty five and is located about 20 miles west of Indian Springs on Highway 95 in Clark County, Nevada. This marker is posted just off the highway and its orientation is parallel with the highway and can be difficult to see even when you are looking for it. There are very small highway signs in both directions on either side of the highway.
An Explosive History
Previously known as the Nevada Proving Grounds, the Nevada Test Site is operated by the United States Department of Energy and used for testing of nuclear weapons during the cold war. The site was established as a 680-square-mile area by President Harry S. Truman on December 18, 1950. The proving grounds are found within the Nellis Air Force Gunnery and Bombing Range. Beginning January 27th, 1951 and continuing for four decades the United States detonated over 1,000 nuclear war heads above ground.
During the 1950’s and 1960’s, air detonations created a tourist industry in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fallout from theses tests spread east on westly winds into St. George and Southern Utah. This fallout caused an increased rate in cancers including leukemia, lymphoma, thyroid cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, bone cancer, brain tumors, and gastrointestinal tract cancers.
On August 5, 1963, President John Kennedy signed the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty which effectively banning atmospheric testing in the United States and other member countries. This move prohibited all above-ground testing at the NTS but did not address underground detonations. A further 828 nuclear tests were carried out underground following the Kennedy ban.
Nevada State Historical Markers identify significant places of interest in Nevada’s history. The Nevada State Legislature started the program in 1967 to bring the state’s heritage to the public’s attention with on-site markers. Budget cuts to the program caused the program to become dormant in 2009. Many of the markers are lost of damaged.
Nevada State Historic Marker Summary
|Nevada State Hsitoric Marker 165 – Nevada Test Site
|Clark County, Nevada
Nevada State Historic Marker #165 Map
Nevada State Historic Marker #165 Text
Testing of weapons for defense and for peaceful uses of nuclear explosives is conducted here. The nation’s principal nuclear explosives testing laboratory is located within this 1,350-square-mile, geologically complex area in the isolated valleys of Jackass, Yucca and Frenchman Flats. Selected as on-continent test site in 1950, the first test took place on Frenchman Flat in January, 1951.
Archeological studies of the NTS area have revealed continuous occupation by prehistoric man from about 9,500 years ago. Several prehistoric cultures are represented. The last aboriginal group to occupy the site was the Southern Paiute, who foraged plant foods in season and occupied the area until the coming of the pioneers.Nevada State Historic Marker #165