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Las Vegas History, Nevada

Spaniards were the ones who gave Las Vegas its name, and they used the water from the area while they headed west and north from Texas on the Old Spanish Trail.  During the 1800s, parts of the valley had artesian wells in them that supported the extensive areas of meadows, which is how Las Vegas got its name, as vegas means meadows in Spanish.

On May 3, 1844, John C. Frémont went to the valley of Las Vegas while the area was still a part of Mexico. Frémont was the leader of an observer, scout, and scientist group of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.  After the annexation, Brigham Young sent 30 missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the area, with William Bringhurst as their leader, on May 10, 1855.  They were to convert the population of Paiute Indian into Mormonism.  There was a fort built close to what is now the downtown area, which served as a place for travelers to stop on the Mormon Corridor.  However, the Mormons abandoned the city in 1857.

On May 15th,1905, Las Vegas was founded as a railroad town.  This was the staging point for the mines in the area, especially the ones around Bullfrog, a town that shipped goods to other parts of the country.  Las Vegas declined in importance with the rapid growth of the railroads, but the Hoover Dam's completion caused a significant growth of tourism, of which led to the building of hotels and casinos which made Las Vegas famous. The American mafia is responsible for the current reputation and status of the city, as the original casinos were either managed or funded by mob figures Meyer Lansky and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel.

Gambling became legal with the opening of these casinos and with the opening of Flamingo Hotel of Bugsy Siegel, on what is now known as the Las Vegas Strip, which was named at the end of 1946. 

A variety of events affected the city, with the completion of the Hoover Dam and the testing of nuclear bombs in the atmosphere being conducted between 1951 and 1962 in Nevada. A hotel fire in November 1890 at the MGM Grand had a devastating effect on both the city and the state.  However, The Mirage's opening in November 1989 began the megaresort casino era.

 
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  • MadSuhVisiting Las Vegas
    review by MadSuh posted more then 30 days ago
    Heading to Vegas is always nice for me. I just like the desert. A lot of people find it boring, but to me it's a place of freedom and maybe peace as well, anyhow it will give you time to think about anything you want. When finally driving into the city, I felt this stange feeling of coming home...
  • mohds2How Vegas became the Gambling Capital
    review by mohds2 posted more then 30 days ago
    Las Vegas is in the western region of the United States and it is situated in the state of Nevada. The Spanish word 'Las Vegas' means 'The Meadows' in English and was at first found in the 1829 by the group of explorers led by Antonio Armijo, the Mexican merchant looking for a way to Los Angeles....
  • MadSuhVegas again and again
    review by MadSuh posted more then 30 days ago
    I stayed down at Isaac's place for a night down in Long Beach. He just got a new place so it was all empty. I did have some cushions and a sleeping bag:) We went out that night and some drunk guy called me fag because of the man purse I am wearing these days. Anyhow, I got over it with a smile. ...
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Read our members' travel tips about Las Vegas


  • MadSuhHistory in Vegas?
    travel tip by MadSuh posted more then 30 days ago
    Yeah right... not much history in Las Vegas. But then if you are looking at Vegas history, the only place really is old town Las Vegas. It's not Rome or Paris, but it offers some old style casino feeling and it's a lot of fun. There is a...
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Las Vegas City Ratings

  • Rating83%
    City Rank117
     
  • History & Culture: rated for 79%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 100%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 74%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 75%
  • Food: rated for 86%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 88%
  • Shopping: rated for 77%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 78%
  • Must visit this place: rated for 90%
  
 
 
 
  
 
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