Las Vegas History


Today’s world center of the entertainment industry gets its name in 1829 when the young Spanish explorer Rafael Rivera discovered oasis in the middle of the Nevada desert. The area is rich in vegetation and water, and the beauty of nature extended his trip by several days. Then he tells about the place, calling it “Las Vegas,” which in Spanish means “the meadows.” Later, in 1844, the journalist John Fermont first describes in detail the natural attractions of the area. More and more people take a trip to Las Vegas to enjoy its beauty.

In 1855, members of the Mormon Church choose the place to build a fort. Its goal is to be located approximately half way from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles and to be a place to store food, water and all necessary supplies for their frequent travels. 1884 is the year in which the territory of Nevada officially appeared on the map of America as the 36th state in the Union. At about the same time numerous minerals, precious metals and coal were discovered . This marked the beginning of mining in the area.

Shortly after the railroad was completed, linking Southern California with Salt Lake City, Las Vegas officially was given the status of city. The date of this event is May 15, 1905.

In 1931, the gambling in the state Nevada is legalized. The first licenses for this activity in Las Vegas were issued for “Norther Club ‘,’ Las Vegas Club ‘and’ Hotel Apache ‘. Few years later, the cheap energy which is produced from the two hydro-power plants of Hoover Dam, will allow Sin City to accept the shiny, polished look we know today.

In 1941, close to Las Vegas was built a military base. Soon after, the pressure of the higher military, the prostitution (which had legal status, quite a profitable business at that time) was outlawed. However the powerful mafia sees huge potential in Vegas. And so in the next years more and more casinos and luxury hotels appeared. The construction of the first of them was completed in 1946. The owner is the legendary gangster Benjamin Bugsy Siegel. The hotel was named “Flamingo”.

The gambling activity continues to be a leader in the next few decades. The ever-growing gaming industry requires creating additional infrastructure to support it. And so in 1948, an airport near the city was built. As a result of the economic growth, there were new jobs opened, both in casinos and in serving them complexes. More entertainment and participation of stars such as Frank Sinatra in the programs of clubs were offered to the wealthy visitors. And the combination of all this with fine food and drinks became a must.

Over the years, the glamor, luxury and refined taste initially displaced the savage, cowboy atmosphere of the city. Howard Hughes was the first businessman who began to have the highest standards in every respect in his casinos and surrounding hotels. Thanks to his modern vision through the years, Las Vegas got the polished look that we know today.