Las Vegas Sun

November 28, 2014

Timeline

1829-1898

  • 1829: Spanish explorers name springs in the desert Las Vegas — Spanish for “the meadows.”
  • 1844: John Fremont’s journal of camping at the Las Vegas Springs brings publicity to the area.
  • 1855: Mormons make first attempt to settle Las Vegas.
  • Oct. 31, 1864: Nevada is admitted as the 36th state in the Union.

1900-1909

  • 1902: U.S. Sen. William Andrews Clark looks to connect transcontinental railroad through Las Vegas.
  • May 15, 1905: Clark auctions off 600 plots of land, establishing Las Vegas as a town.
  • Land for sale

  • 1905: The First United Methodist Church of Las Vegas is formed.
  • 1906:What is now the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino opens as the Hotel Nevada in downtown Las Vegas.
  • 1907: First telephone wires installed on Fremont Street.
  • July 1, 1909: Clark County is created.
  • 1909: Nevada bans gambling.

1910-1919

  • March 16, 1911: The city of Las Vegas is incorporated.
  • 1911: Laws liberalized to allow for “quickie” divorce after six weeks of residency.
  • 1919: Prohibition is ratified — all consumption, manufacturing and distribution of liquor banned.

1920-1929

  • 1920: Population of Las Vegas is 2,304 (Clark County, 4,859).
  • Nov. 24, 1922: Colorado River Compact is signed by seven western states to divide water equally.
  • 1925: Fremont Street is paved.
  • First class

  • April, 1926: Western Airlines provides first commercial flight at Rockwell Field.
  • Dec. 21, 1928: The Boulder Canyon Project Act approved, authorizing construction of a dam on the Colorado River.
  • 1928: The El Portal Theatre opens on Fremont Street.
  • Sept. 7, 1929: Work starts on Boulder Dam.
  • 1929: The Las Vegas Review-Journal becomes a daily newspaper.
  • 1929: Las Vegas High School opens.

1930-1939

  • 1930: Population of Las Vegas is 5,165 (Clark County, 8,532).
  • 1930: Union Pacific Railroad connects Las Vegas to Boulder City.
  • 1931: The Nevada Legislature relaxes marriage and divorce laws and repeals its gambling ban.
  • 1931: Pair-O-Dice Club opens on Highway 91, which later is known as the famous Las Vegas Strip.
  • Time for a parade

  • 1932: Patrick McCarran elected to the U.S. Senate
  • 1933: Prohibition is repealed.
  • 1934: “Helldorado Days” begin, portraying the city’s Old West theme.
  • Sept. 30, 1935: President Franklin Roosevelt dedicates Boulder Dam.
  • 1938: California authorities crack down on illegal gambling, causing many gamblers to move to Las Vegas.
  • 1938: Guy McAfee opens “The 91 Club” on Highway 91.
  • Jan. 1939: Ria Langham divorces husband, Clark Gable, helping Las Vegas earn the title of “Divorce Capital of the World.”

1940-1949

  • 1940: Population of Las Vegas is 8,422 (Clark County, 16,414).
  • Jan. 25, 1941: U.S. Army creates a gunnery school that will become Nellis Air Force Base.
  • April 3, 1941: Thomas Hull opens the El Rancho Vegas, the first resort on Highway 91 (aka the famous Las Vegas Strip).
  • 1941: The El Cortez opens downtown.
  • Oct. 30, 1942: The Last Frontier opens.
  • Strip's first resort

  • Oct. 10, 1944: The Huntridge Theater opens as the first non-segregated theater in Las Vegas.
  • Nov. 1944: Liberace makes his Las Vegas debut.
  • 1945: J. Walter Thompson receives first advertising contract to promote Las Vegas tourism.
  • Aug. 30, 1946: The Golden Nugget opens downtown.
  • Dec. 26, 1946: Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel opens the Flamingo Hotel.
  • 1946: Nevada levies first gaming taxes.
  • June 20, 1947: Siegel is murdered in Virginia Hill’s Beverly Hills home.
  • Dec. 20, 1948: Alamo Airport becomes McCarran Field — now known as McCarran International Airport.

1950-1959

  • April 24, 1950: Desert Inn opens.
  • July 1, 1950: Hank Greenspun publishes the first edition of The Las Vegas Sun under the name of the Las Vegas Morning Sun.
  • Nov. 15, 1950: Sen. Estes Kefauver opens a five-month probe of organized crime with a hearing in Las Vegas.
  • 1950: Population of Las Vegas is 24,624 (Clark County, 48,289).
  • Jan. 27, 1951: Nevada Test Site conducts first nuclear weapons test only 65 miles from downtown Las Vegas.
  • Sept. 1951: Frank Sinatra’s first performance at the Desert Inn.
  • 1951: Vegas Vic, a 40-foot tall waving cowboy sign, is erected at the Pioneer Club.
  • April 22, 1952: Media broadcast detonation of a nuclear device for the first time.
  • Oct. 7, 1952: Sahara opens.
  • Dec. 15, 1952: Sands opens as the seventh resort on The Strip.
  • July 22, 1953: Greenspun and other investors start KLAS Ch. 8, the city’s first commercial TV station.
  • An acting president

  • Sept. 4, 1953:Las Vegas Park opens but horse racing lasts only 13 ill-fated days.
  • Feb. 15, 1954: Ronald Reagan has two-week show at the Last Frontier.
  • April 28, 1954: Roxie’s, a bordello off Boulder Highway, is raided.
  • Sept. 28, 1954: Sen. McCarran dies.
  • March 29, 1955: The Nevada Tax Commission creates the Gaming Control Board.
  • April 20, 1955: The nine-story tall Riviera opens as the tallest building in town.
  • May 15, 1955: Las Vegas celebrates its 50th birthday.
  • May 23, 1955: The Dunes opens, as the 10th resort on The Strip.
  • May 24, 1955: The Moulin Rouge, the first racially integrated hotel opens.
  • Nov. 17, 1955: 14 die when a plane crashes into Mt. Charleston.
  • 1955: The Las Vegas Sun’s starts its Youth Forum.
  • 1955:Liberace becomes the city's highest-paid entertainer, earning $50,000 a week.
  • 1955: Nearly eight million people visit Las Vegas every year.
  • April 23, 1956: Elvis Presley performs first shows in Las Vegas at the New Frontier Hotel.
  • May 18, 1956: The 12-story tall Fremont Hotel opens in downtown becoming the area’s tallest building.
  • 1956: Las Vegas annexes a mile of land, its first addition since incorporation.
  • June 1, 1956: Nellis Air Force Base becomes the home of the Thunderbirds, an aerial demonstration squadron.
  • June 8, 1956: Silver Palace, Las Vegas' first two-story club, opens.
  • June, 1956: Hacienda opens.
  • Classes in session

  • Jan. 10, 1957: Showgirls make debut with “Minsky’s Follies” at the Desert Inn.
  • April 3, 1957: Tropicana opens.
  • Sept. 10, 1957: UNLV holds its first classes.
  • 1958: The Stardust opens.
  • March 30, 1959: Nevada creates the Gaming Commission.
  • April 29, 1959: The Las Vegas Convention Center opens.
  • October 10, 1959: Freed's Bakery opens, supplying cakes and baked goods to Las Vegas residents, tourists and celebrities alike. (Promotional Partner)
  • 1959: Betty Willis designs “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.

1960-1969

  • 1960: Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford) performs for first time.
  • March 25, 1960: NAACP members, politicians and businessmen lift Jim Crow restrictions.
  • June 17, 1960: El Rancho goes up in flames.
  • Packing 'em in

  • Aug. 10, 1960: "Ocean’s Eleven," starring the Rat Pack, debuts.
  • March 1963: McCarran Airport completes expansion and relocation project.
  • Oct. 10, 1963: Atomic Age ends when Limited Test Ban Treaty goes into effect, banning above ground testing at the Nevada Test Site.
  • Nov. 20, 1963: The Las Vegas Sun's newspaper office burns to the ground.
  • 1963: Wayne Newton performs first show at the Flamingo.
  • May 20, 1964: The film “Viva Las Vegas,” starring Elvis Presley and Ann Margret, is released.
  • June 3, 1964: UNLV holds first commencement ceremony as 29 students graduate in the “Centennial Class” as Nevada turns 100.
  • Aug. 20, 1964: The Beatles perform at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
  • Aug. 25, 1964: A rooftop fire causes $1 million in damage to the Sahara.
  • April 1, 1966: The Aladdin opens with 400 rooms.
  • Aug. 5, 1966: Caesars Palace opens.
  • Nov. 27 1966: Howard Hughes arrives in Las Vegas and takes over the top two floors of the Desert Inn.
  • Jan. 7, 1967: R.J. Parish kills six people — including himself — and injured eight others by shooting a pile of dynamite at the Orbit Inn Motel.
  • March 1967: Hughes buys the Desert Inn (avoiding eviction), the first in a slew of hotels the billionaire would purchase.
  • 1967: Siegfried & Roy debut at the Tropicana.
  • An Evel jump

  • May 1, 1967: Elvis and Priscilla Presley marry at the Aladdin.
  • Dec. 31, 1967: Evel Knievel crashes during his famous jump over the fountains at Caesars Palace.
  • 1967: The first Las Vegas Marathon takes place.
  • Oct. 18, 1968: Circus Circus opens.
  • 1969: The Nevada Legislature approves its second Gaming Act, allowing corporations to own casinos.
  • 1969: Kirk Kekorian builds the International Hotel.
  • July 26, 1969: Elvis Presley starts his shows at the International, signing up for four weeks, twice a year, for $125,000 per week.
  • 1969: B.B. King plays first show in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace.

1970-1979

  • Nov. 26, 1970: Howard Hughes leaves Las Vegas after becoming Nevada’s largest private employer, largest casino owner and largest property owner.
  • 1971: The $3.5 million Las Vegas Stadium opens.
  • 1971:Hunter S. Thompson first publishes "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" as a story in Rolling Stone.
  • All hail the King

  • April 5, 1976: Howard Hughes dies.
  • Dec. 2-12, 1976: Elvis performs his final engagement at the Hilton.
  • 1976: Gambling is legalized in Atlantic City, N.J., providing intense East Coast competition.
  • Aug. 16, 1977: Las Vegas legend Elvis Presley dies in Memphis.
  • April 15, 1979:Liberace opens The Liberace Museum, which displays his collection of rare pianos, cars and, of course, his bejewled wardrobes.
  • Jan. 31, 1979:A winter storm blanketed the valley with 7.4 inches of snow (The record snow for Las Vegas was 9 inches in January of 1974).

1980-1989

  • Nov. 21, 1980: The MGM Grand Hotel fire kills 87 people and injures some 700 more.
  • Feb. 10, 1981: The former International, known as the Las Vegas Hilton, erupts in flames, killing eight.
  • Oct. 4 1982: Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal survives near fatal car bomb explosion.
  • Tragedy at MGM

  • 1985: The first National Finals Rodeo is held in Las Vegas.
  • June 14, 1986: Notorious mobster Tony “The Ant” Spilotro is killed in an Indiana cornfield.
  • Feb. 4, 1987: Liberace dies.
  • 1987: McCarran International Airport completes a $300 million expansion project that features a new central terminal, additional gates, and revamped runways.
  • May 4, 1988: The Pacific Engineering Production Company plant explodes in Henderson, killing two and injuring 370.
  • Nov. 22, 1989: Steve Wynn opens the Mirage (the first new casino in 16 years) which ignites a resort building boom that revolutionizes Vegas into the 1990s and 2000s.

1990-1999

  • Jan. 15, 1990: The Rio opens.
  • April 9, 1990: UNLV’s basketball team wins national title with a 103-73 victory over Duke in Denver.
  • Runnin' Rebels rout Duke

  • May 16, 1990: Rat Pack member Sammy Davis, Jr. dies from complications of throat cancer in Beverly Hills, Calif.
  • June 19, 1990: Excalibur opens.
  • Dec. 18, 1992: The first Las Vegas Bowl is played at Sam Boyd Stadium.
  • Jan. 26, 1993: The Dunes closes its doors after being sold to Steve Wynn. The famed casino is imploded on Oct. 27.
  • Oct. 15, 1993: The Luxor opens.
  • Oct. 27, 1993: Treasure Island opens.
  • Dec. 18, 1993: Kirk Kerkorian’s MGM Grand Hotel & Theme Parks opens at the world’s largest hotel at a cost of $1 billion.
  • March 10, 1995: The world’s first Hard Rock Hotel opens in Las Vegas.
  • Nov. 7, 1995: The Landmark Hotel is imploded and footage is used in Tim Burton’s 1996 film “Mars Attacks!”
  • Dec. 14, 1995: The $70 million Fremont Street Experience opens.
  • Dec. 25, 1995: Former Rat Pack member Dean Martin dies of lung cancer.
  • April 30, 1996: The Stratosphere Hotel opens as the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
  • June 21, 1996: Monte Carlo opens.
  • Sept. 1996: The $72 million, 1,100-acre Las Vegas Motor Speedway opens.
  • Sept. 7, 1996: Tupac Shakur is shot; dies six days later.
  • Sept. 7, 1996: UNLV becomes a member of the Western Athletic Conference.
  • Nov. 26, 1996: The Sands Hotel is imploded.
  • Dec. 18, 1996: The Orleans opens.
  • Dec. 31, 1996: The Hacienda is imploded.
  • 1996: Wayne Newton celebrates 25,000th performance.
  • 1996: Siegfried and Roy celebrate their 15,000th performance.
  • Jan. 3, 1997: New York-New York opens.
  • Tigers and magic tricks

  • 1997: The Crystal Method, made up of two former Las Vegans, releases their debut CD, “Vegas.”
  • June 28, 1997: Mike Tyson bites Evander Holyfield’s ear.
  • Jan. 4, 1998: Las Vegas Hilton opens “Star Trek: The Experience.”
  • May 14, 1998: Frank Sinatra dies of a heart attack. The next night the lights on the Strip are dimmed in his honor.
  • Oct. 15, 1998: The Bellagio opens as the most expensive hotel in the world, built for $1.7 billion.
  • March 2, 1999: Mandalay Bay opens.
  • May 3, 1999: The Venetian opens.
  • Sept. 1, 1999: The Paris Hotel and Casino opens.
  • Dec. 31, 1999: Barbra Streisand’s New Year’s Eve concert at the MGM Grand becomes Vegas’ highest grossing concert ever.
  • 1999: Las Vegas became the world’s most visited place with 37 million tourists a year.

2000-2009

2010-Present