Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

CONTENTS

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. ix

read more

Foreword

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xvi

I was absolutely delighted when Barbara Land approached me about writing the foreword to A Short History of Las Vegas. While I had helped Barbara and “Mike” on this latest collaborative book project, directing them to resource material, reading chapters, and sharing the experience of being raised in the entertainment capital ...

read more

Preface to the Second Edition: Las Vegas: Fast Forward

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xvii-xxii

Before Mike and I started work on this book, we looked for answers to these questions, reading everything we could find about the city’s history. Then we talked to people who knew Las Vegas—people who had lived, attended school, and worked there. Some were born there. As visitors, we explored the city ...

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xxiii-xxiv

A complete list of individual names of people who provided lively stories for this book begins to look like a city telephone directory. They know who they are, and we thank them all. In museums and libraries, casinos and business offices, they cheerfully stopped what they were doing to help us find facts and pictures. ...

read more

1 Great Expectations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-16

Walk under the Brooklyn Bridge and down the street to take an elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Invade an Egyptian pyramid to view excavated treasures from King Tut’s tomb. Stroll beside a Venetian canal and hire a gondola, complete with singing gondolier, and relax on the water beneath a blue Italian sky. ...

read more

2 The Settlers

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 17-36

Traveling from Salt Lake City to the California coast in 1852, Mormon missionary Hosea Stout and his companions stopped for water at the Las Vegas Spring. They had followed the old familiar Spanish Trail, except for a few shortcuts and diversions described by John Charles Fremont and other recent travelers. ...

read more

3 Two Towns Called Las Vegas

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 37-48

In 1902, James T. McWilliams, a half-forgotten civil engineer and surveyor from Canada, carried out a survey of 1,800 acres that Mrs. Helen J. Stewart owned in the Las Vegas Valley. McWilliams discovered that eighty acres adjoining Mrs. Stewart's property were still available and filed a claim. ...

read more

4 Gateway to the Dam

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 49-70

President Calvin Coolidge had just signed the Boulder Canyon Project Act that meant salvation for Las Vegas. At Black Canyon, less than thirty miles southeast of town, the government was about to begin its most ambitious engineering project since the Panama Canal. The building of Boulder Dam—later named Hoover Dam ...

read more

5 Politics, Las Vegas Style

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 71-82

Harvey Hardy, a young mining engineer, discovered how tough the newly founded town of Las Vegas was when he and a friend went there to celebrate Christmas Day in 1905. Hardy usually left his savings on deposit at the general store in Goodsprings, Nevada, and when he went in to take out fifty dollars for his trip, ...

read more

6 Inventing the Strip

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 83-92

One widely accepted legend traces the origin of the Las Vegas Strip back to an afternoon in 1941 when Los Angeles hotelman Tom Hull had a flat tire on the narrow road leading to Los Angeles. While waiting for somebody to come out to fix the tire, the legend says, Hull noticed how many automobiles were passing the site, ...

read more

7 Bugsy and “The Boys”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 93-108

"Bugsy was precocious in crime as some boys are precocious in music, art, or science," reporters Ed Reid and Ovid Demaris observed in The Green Felt Jungle. "His reckless disregard for danger, his wild antics, his ruthless contempt for the rights of others, his psychopathic temper-all these weaknesses became ...

read more

8 Dark Shadows Over the Playground

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 109-118

When the Las Vegas Review-Journal began publishing stories explaining that the mushroom-shaped clouds were caused by above-ground atomic tests, as some Las Vegans had guessed, the FBI suspected that someone working at the atomic test site was giving away security secrets. ...

read more

9 Mr. Hughes Arrives in Las Vegas

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 119-134

During Thanksgiving weekend in 1966, an unusually short train stopped on the outskirts of Las Vegas at four A.M., Sunday, November 27. The train carried a strange cargo: Howard Hughes, a reclusive billionaire who had come "to make Nevada his kingdom ... and to create a world he could control completely," ...

read more

10 The Entertainers

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 135-158

That April night in 1956, the audience in the Venus Room at the New Frontier had come to laugh with comedian Shecky Greene, to hear familiar tunes played by Freddy Martin and his orchestra. So where did the management find this cotton-mouth rock-'n'-roll singer? Elvis Presley? Outside the casino there was a ...

read more

11 Three Tycoons

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 159-178

Sarno decided to design an elaborate casino inspired by his conception of life under the Roman emperors and to call it Caesars Palace. (He deliberately omitted the apostrophe from Caesar's because that would mean the palace belonged to only one Caesar. "We wanted to create the feeling that everybody in the hotel ...

read more

12 The Grand Tour

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 179-198

Exactly on schedule, June 21, 1996, the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino opened its ornate doors behind Corinthian columns at the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South. In a collaboration unprecedented on the Strip—the first of several joint ventures still to come—Mirage Resorts, Inc., ...

read more

13 Big Deals, New Directions

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 199-220

Las Vegas cleared away the confetti from its Millennium celebrations even before most Americans had become accustomed to writing “2000” in spaces for the day’s date. Life on the Strip was relatively quiet—until February 23, 2000, when the golden MGM Lion suddenly roared. The news made headlines from the Strip ...

read more

14 Who Lives in Las Vegas?

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 221-244

“You live in Las Vegas? You’re kidding!” In his foreword to the first edition of this book, Nevada State Archivist Guy Rocha recalls the startled comments he heard from eastern classmates in 1969 when he enrolled at Syracuse University in upstate New York: “People don’t live there,” he was told. “They GO there!” ...

Selected Bibliography: More About Las Vegas

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 245-250

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 251-266