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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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Read our members' reviews about Las Vegas


  • MadSuhEnjoy yourself in Las Vegas, NV
    review by MadSuh posted more then 30 days ago
    Las Vegas is one of the best places to visit. It's one of the few destinations that offer a little bit of everything as well as a lot of extras. Besides all the gambling that people think of, there are a ton of other things to do. Whether you like magic shows or other entertainment, Vegas is for...
  • mohds2Best clubs in Las Vegas
    review by mohds2 posted more then 30 days ago
    Las Vegas, it is a town that really never sleeps. No doubt, there are enjoyable things to be done in the daytime, but in the evening, things are reversed. Las Vegas is always notorious for starting new disco bars and celebration centers. As the rivalry is very rigid, you and I win. No matter what...
  • travelgrove-editorLas Vegas, the Casino City
    review by travelgrove-editor posted more then 30 days ago
    Las Vegas is situated in the lower part of the state of Nevada and sits in the center of the Mojave Desert, who would have guessed to find in the desert, a city of lights, and all you can eat buffets, casinos and the ultimate city of entertainment. The skyline of Vegas is an eclectic array,...
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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 Rank116
     
  • 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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