Online Dating for History Buffs

Curious about when the Aladdin hotel-casino was imploded? Or the day tennis star Andre Agassi was born? Or—for you lovers of the obscure—when the post office in McGill, Nev., opened? All three of these events had recent anniversaries—and you would have known all about it if you followed @HistoryNevada, a Twitter page dedicated to providing daily “on-this-date” facts related to the Silver State.

The page is the creation of William Lefkovics, 45, a 13-year Southern Nevada resident who started it as a simple hobby. Now, more than 18 months later, the feed has become an essential resource for those interested in Nevada history.

Lefkovics, an IT consultant and tech writer whose clients include Microsoft and Windows IT Pro magazine, was inspired to launch his site by another Twitter page, @WorldHistory101, that is now defunct. He spends two to three hours per day doing research for the site and tries to Tweet 15 to 20 Nevada-related historical facts each day, usually including a Web link to confirm the information.

“On any given day, I probably have 10 or 15 books on Nevada out from the library,” he says.

Lefkovics has more than 1,700 followers, including media outlets, politicians, history professors and other prominent Nevadans. He doesn’t get any money out of the venture, but it does give him an outlet for his lifelong love of history.

“As a kid, the museum was easily as interesting as the carnival,” says Lefkovics, a native of Canada. “I’ve always been a student of my community; I’ve lived in three states and a couple of other countries, and wherever I’ve lived I’ve spent time learning [about its history].”

Lefkovics plans to expand his historical hobby, including developing some iPhone apps. For now, however, he will continue to update his Twitter page several times each day.

“When I started this, I didn’t have any plans, intentions or goals on what I was going to do with it long term,” he says. “It’s almost like an obligation now. I can’t let those people down; they’re expecting something.”

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David G. Schwartz recently wrote in this magazine about Derek Stevens, the man behind the transformation of Fitzgeralds to The D (“The Man Behind The D,” April 19). As Schwartz explained, the name comes from the downtown location, the name of the new owner, Derek Stevens; and Stevens’ hometown—Detroit. But it could also stand for Deal, because there are some good things going on—or I should say, still going on—down there.