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In , McCarran Field was established for commercial air traffic. In the University of Nevada, Las Vegas was first established, initially as a branch of the University of Nevada, Reno and becoming independent in A new utility company, Southwest Gas expanded into Las Vegas in These atmospheric tests would continue until enactment of the Partial Test Ban Treaty in when the tests moved underground.
The last test explosion was in In , Howard Hughes , the eccentric hero of the American aviation industry, and noted American entrepreneurial financier with vast connections to long established networks in the country, moved to Las Vegas.
Initially staying in the Desert Inn , he refused to vacate his room and instead decided to purchase the entire hotel. He was instrumental in changing the image of Las Vegas from its Wild West roots into a more refined cosmopolitan city.
The local newspaper Las Vegas Sun and its editor Hank Greenspun led a crusade in those days to expose all the criminal ties, activities, and government corruption in Las Vegas.
His investigative reporting and editorials led to the exposure of Clark County Sheriff Glen Jones ' ownership of a brothel and the resignation of Lieutenant Governor Clifford A.
Jones as the state's national committeeman for the Democratic Party. Before his death in , Hank Greenspun founded The Greenspun Corporation to manage his family's assets, and it remains a major influence in Las Vegas, with media holdings in print, television and the Internet; substantial real estate holdings; and ownership stakes in a number of casinos.
Because of this, the city lost tax revenue. Under Nevada Law, an incorporated town, Las Vegas, cannot annex an unincorporated township.
To this day, virtually all of the Strip remains outside the City of Las Vegas. Much like in other American settled counties and towns throughout the United States, entertainment venues were segregated between black- and white-owned businesses.
With almost all of the businesses owned and operated by whites, Black Americans were barred from entering the venues which remained focused, regardless of their legitimacy or criminality, on entertaining a white-only clientele.
As a result of property deeds, businesses owned by or mainly serving non-whites were confined to clubs on the "west side" of the tracks. This also was enforced in many of the work positions.
Thus, African Americans except those who provided the labor for low-paying menial positions or entertainment and Hispanics were limited in employment occupations at the white-owned clubs.
However, because of employment deals with black worker groups, many clubs favored black workers, and the Hispanic population actually decreased ninety percent from 2, to just by the mids.
Organized crime-owned businesses saw an opportunity in not dividing their clientele by race and, despite property deeds and city and county codes barring such activities, made several attempts at desegregating their businesses in the hopes of putting out of operation the non-white owned clubs and expanding their own market share.
An attempt was made at forming an all-integrated night-club modeled on the Harlem Clubs of New York City during the s and s, like those owned by German-Jewish gangster Dutch Schultz.
It was a very upscale and racially integrated casino that actually competed against the resorts on the Strip, especially the non-white owned strips on the west side.
By the end of the year, the casino closed as Schwartz and his partners had a falling out, but the seeds for racial integration were sown.
Many sources have credited Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack as a significant driving force behind desegregation in the casinos.
However, it took political action for racial desegregation to occur. A meeting between the NAACP, the mayor and local businessmen resulted in citywide casino desegregation, starting with the employees.
Many whites were attritioned from positions and their jobs given to the black unions. Along with the rest of the country, Las Vegas experienced the struggle for civil rights.
Activists like James B. Aside from seeing no business advantage to excluding non-white customers from casinos and clubs, the organized crime groups themselves were composed of people of ethnicities Jewish and Italian that faced discrimination from WASP America and thus could understand the plight of blacks.
This was also a driving force behind the integration advocated by ethnic performers such as Sinatra and Martin.
Another big force for equality was Mayor Oran Gragson. Spurred into local politics by a vigilante ring of cops who repeatedly broke into his appliance store, he implemented infrastructure improvements for the minority neighborhoods in Las Vegas, backed the NAACP in its actions, and promoted black workers for jobs.
He also championed the cause of the Paiute tribe that owned a small portion of Las Vegas. Gragson stopped the U.
His work helped reverse the decrease of minority populations in Las Vegas. Local legislation kept up with the national legislation and integration was finally established.
The only real violence came as a result of school integration, with violent riots and fights occurring in Clark High School when black gangs and youths began attacking the whites.
Integration sparked white flight from the school district from to On a percentage basis, Las Vegas and Clark County experienced incredibly high growth rates starting in the s and lasting until the late s recession.
During that period, the population of the city more than doubled in most decades. By , Las Vegas was the largest city founded in the 20th century,  and by it was the 28th largest city in the US, with a population of , in the city and nearly 1.
The explosive growth resulted in rapid development of commercial and residential areas throughout the Las Vegas Valley.
The strong boom in the resort business led to many new condominium developments all along the Strip and downtown area. Also urban sprawl development of single-family homes continued across the valley, building the areas of Henderson, North Las Vegas , Centennial Hills, and Summerlin.
The rapid development and population growth both halted abruptly in the late s recession. During this period of time, American author and journalist Hunter S.
Thompson wrote and published his seminal novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas , detailing the experience of his trip to the city. A total of 85 people died and were injured in what remains the worst disaster in Nevada history.
Las Vegas began to become a more commercialized, family-oriented place with large corporations coming to own the hotels, casinos, and nightclubs in place of Mafia bosses.
The megaresort era kicked off in with the construction of The Mirage. Its 3, rooms, each with gold tinted windows, set a new standard for Vegas luxury and attracted tourists in droves, leading to additional financing and rapid growth on the Las Vegas Strip.
More landmark hotels and other structures were razed to make way for ever-larger and more opulent resorts including:. The home mortgage crisis and the late s recession affected Las Vegas' economic success.
New home construction was stalled, and construction projects were either canceled, postponed, or continued with financial troubles.
The global financial situation also had a negative effect on gaming and tourism revenue, causing many of the companies to report net loss.
Many analysts agree that the Las Vegas economy is recovering, with improving conditions in tourism and the housing market for January marks the 19th consecutive month with home sales higher than the same month in the previous year.
In June , a heat wave grounded more than 40 airline flights of small aircraft, with American Airlines reducing sales on certain flights to prevent the vehicles from being over the maximum weight permitted for safe takeoff and Las Vegas tying its record high at degrees Fahrenheit.
During the late evening of October 1, , Las Vegas became the scene of the deadliest mass shooting committed by a single gunman in the history of the United States.
A gunman opened fire on Route 91 Harvest festival-goers from the Mandalay Bay resort, killing 58 and injuring From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Redirected from History of the Las Vegas Valley. Main article: Las Vegas in the s. Main articles: Las Vegas in the s and Las Vegas in the s.
National Park Service ". Las Vegas: A Centennial History. University of Nevada Press. Las Vegas: the great American playground. In the tunnel next to her lives Tommy, 55, and his wife Shay.
The couple has tried to make themselves as comfortable as possible. A piece of cardboard in front of their section of a tunnel has "Aloha" written on it and the walls are adorned with Hawaiian prayers — pieces of home.
Hawaiian prayers adorn the walls of Tommy and Shay's tunnel home. Their furniture includes a mattress, a few boxes, and cartons.
There is a small heater on which they boil water — they call it their "kitchen". Two old carpets lie on the floor. He is still doing crystal meth.
Tommy became homeless after becoming addicted to drugs and gambling. It's dark everywhere, and the only light comes from flashlights — if they can even afford batteries.
If some light comes in at the end of the tunnel, we know: It's daytime. Not knowing whether its day or night is probably the only similarity people have here to those gambling away in the sparkly casinos in the city.
The tunnels are so dark that there are moments when the couple is unsure about whether its daytime or nighttime. Behind Shay, some cuddly toys are carefully arranged.
Tommy looks over at them and says: "Shay adopts them. She finds them at the dump. When she sees them there, she thinks they're scared, dirty and alone and that they need a family.
Then Shay takes them with her, washes them and talks to them. Shay collects stuffed animals to 'give them a home'.
But what Tommy and Shay call their home can be washed away and destroyed by water at any minute. When it rains heavily outside, the underground shafts collect the water and push it out of the city.
The year-old is still addicted to Crystal Meth. Lacey explains that storms are life-threatening for the "Mole People".
Tommy and Shay have brought it different bits of furniture to make the tunnels feels a home-like as possible.
Rusty, 54, has lived with her husband and two dogs for five years in the Las Vegas tunnels. I lived on welfare — but my husband couldn't live with me anymore because of his past.
No landlord accepted him anymore. We have been married for 12 years. I wanted to be with him — so I went into the tunnels with him," she says.
Rusty followed her husband of 12 years into the tunnels after they were rejected by every landlord. Next to their tent is an old whirlpool: "We bathed in it today," Rusty says.
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