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1900-1949 Did You Know Las Vegas

Las Vegas in the Early 20th Century: A Time of Transformation

The New Century for Las Vegas

Embark on a journey through Las Vegas between 1900 and 1949, a pivotal era of transformation and growth. This period, brimming with significant milestones, saw Las Vegas evolve from a railroad town to a budding entertainment hub. Discover the key events that shaped the city's early identity, from the construction of iconic infrastructures to the nascent beginnings of the gaming and entertainment industries. Each fact paints a vivid picture of a city on the brink of a dazzling future.

Las Vegas’ Untold Beginnings: Unveiling a Rich Heritage

Immerse yourself in the untold beginnings of Las Vegas, a period marked by landmark discoveries and cultural shifts. This curated collection of facts not only enhances your knowledge but also offers a unique perspective on the city’s rich heritage. Whether you are a history enthusiast or a curious traveler, these revelations promise to deepen your appreciation of Las Vegas. And don’t forget to explore the subsequent eras (1900-1949, 1950-1999, and 2000-2023) to witness the changes of a humble desert valley into a world-renowned entertainment capital.

 

Did You Know Las Vegas 1stLasVegasGuide.com

(1-50) 1900-1949 Did You Know...

1900 – Las Vegas’ Population: In 1900, the population of Las Vegas was just over 100 residents.

1905 – Official Founding: Las Vegas was officially founded on May 15, 1905, when 110 acres of land were auctioned off.

1906 – Hotel Nevada: The Hotel Nevada, now known as the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, opened in 1906 as the first hotel in Las Vegas.

1907 – First Telephone: Las Vegas’ first telephone was installed in 1907 at the Hotel Nevada, with the phone number “1.”

1909 – Clark County Formation: Las Vegas became part of the newly formed Clark County on July 1, 1909.

1910 – Gambling Ban: Nevada banned gambling in 1910, a law that remained in place until 1931.

1920s – Prohibition Era: During the Prohibition era of the 1920s, illegal speakeasies and bootlegging were common in Las Vegas.

1931 – Legalization of Gambling: Gambling was legalized again in Nevada on March 19, 1931, leading to a resurgence of the gaming industry.

1931 – Construction of Hoover Dam: The construction of the Hoover Dam, known then as Boulder Dam, began in 1931, providing many jobs during the Great Depression.

1935 – Completion of Hoover Dam: The Hoover Dam was completed in 1935, significantly impacting the area’s economy and tourism.

1941 – El Rancho Vegas: El Rancho Vegas, the first resort on what would become the Las Vegas Strip, opened on April 3, 1941.

1944 – First Marriage License Bureau: Las Vegas opened its first Marriage License Bureau in 1944.

1946 – Flamingo Hotel Opening: The Flamingo Hotel, developed by Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, opened on December 26, 1946, marking the beginning of the modern Strip.

In 1948, McCarran Field (now Harry Reid International Airport) began commercial flights.

1905 – First Railroad: The first railroad arrived in Las Vegas in 1905, which was a major contributor to the city’s early growth.

1939 – First Neon Sign: The first neon sign appeared in Las Vegas at the Boulder Club in 1939.

1946 – Golden Nugget Opens: The Golden Nugget, one of Las Vegas’ most iconic casinos, opened in 1946.

1920s-1930s – Rise of the Mafia: The 1920s and 1930s saw the rise of organized crime in Las Vegas, which played a significant role in the city’s development.

1931 – First Gaming License: The Northern Club received the first gaming license in Las Vegas in 1931.

1905 – First Auction: The first land auction in Las Vegas occurred on May 15, 1905, marking the birth of the city.

1941 – First Strip Hotel: The El Rancho Vegas was the first hotel-casino to open on the Las Vegas Strip in 1941.

1931 – Divorce Industry: Nevada’s liberal divorce laws established Las Vegas as a quick-divorce destination from 1931 onwards.

1946 – Bugsy Siegel in Vegas: Mobster Bugsy Siegel moved to Las Vegas in 1946 and began the development of the Flamingo Hotel.

1949 – Desert Inn: The Desert Inn opened on April 24, 1949, becoming another major resort on the Strip.

1905 – Las Vegas Townsite Auction: The Las Vegas townsite auction held by the railroad in 1905 was a key event in establishing the layout of modern-day downtown Las Vegas.

1948 – First Television Station: Las Vegas saw its first television station, KLAS-TV, begin operations in 1948.

1942 – Opening of the Last Frontier: The Hotel Last Frontier opened its doors in 1942, becoming the second resort on the Strip.

1939 – First Helldorado Days: The first Helldorado Days festival, celebrating Las Vegas’ Western heritage, was held in 1939.

1944 – Las Vegas Army Airfield: The Las Vegas Army Airfield (now Nellis Air Force Base) was established in 1944, playing a significant role in the city’s World War II efforts.

1909 – First High School: Las Vegas High School, the city’s first high school, opened in 1909.

1947 – Tropicana Site Purchase: The land that would later become the Tropicana Las Vegas was purchased in 1947, although the resort wouldn’t open until 1957.

1900 – Las Vegas’ First Library: The first library in Las Vegas was established in 1900 in a room of the Las Vegas Ranch.

1936 – Opening of Boulder Club: The Boulder Club opened in 1936, becoming one of the earliest casinos in Las Vegas.

1946 – Opening of Bugsy Siegel’s Flamingo: Bugsy Siegel’s Flamingo Hotel and Casino, which would later become an iconic landmark, opened in 1946.

1931 – First Divorce Ranch: The opening of the first “divorce ranch” in 1931, where residents could establish the six weeks of residency required for a Nevada divorce.

1949 – Thunderbird Hotel Opening: The Thunderbird Hotel opened on the Las Vegas Strip in 1949.

1932 – First Paved Road to Las Vegas: The completion of the first paved road from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 1932 significantly boosted tourism.

1941 – Silvagni’s Pioneer Club: In 1941, the Pioneer Club, one of Las Vegas’s most famous early casinos, opened its doors.

1905 – Railroad Brings Growth: The arrival of the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad in 1905 was crucial for the early growth of Las Vegas.

1930s – Downtown Development: The 1930s saw significant development in downtown Las Vegas, including the construction of many of the city’s first casinos and hotels.

1948 – KENO Radio: Las Vegas’s first radio station, KENO, began broadcasting in 1948.

1940s – The Rise of Fremont Street: Fremont Street, in downtown Las Vegas, grew rapidly in the 1940s, becoming a hub of gambling and nightlife.

1931 – Hoover Dam Construction Jobs: The construction of Hoover Dam brought thousands of workers to the area in 1931, significantly impacting the local economy.

1935 – President Roosevelt Visits: President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the Hoover Dam in 1935, highlighting its national significance.

1907 – First Auto Arrives in Las Vegas: The first automobile arrived in Las Vegas in 1907, marking the beginning of a new era of transportation.

1946 – Las Vegas’ First Nightclub: The first true nightclub in Las Vegas, El Rancho’s Roundup Room, opened in 1946.

1940s – Emergence of Wedding Chapels: The 1940s saw the emergence of wedding chapels in Las Vegas, capitalizing on Nevada’s relaxed marriage laws.

1931 – Construction of Boulder Dam (Hoover Dam): The construction of the Boulder Dam, later renamed Hoover Dam, began in 1931, creating a massive boost in employment and tourism.

1930 – First Airfield: The first airfield in Las Vegas, Anderson Field, opened in 1930, paving the way for air travel to the city.

1942 – Carver Park for African-American Workers: Carver Park was established in 1942 to provide housing for African-American workers at the Basic Magnesium Plant.

(51-100 ) 1900-1949 Did You Know...

1905 – Las Vegas Townsite Created: The Las Vegas townsite was established in 1905 following the auction of 110 acres of land by the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad.

1931 – First Gaming License Issued: The Northern Club received the first Nevada gaming license in 1931, marking the beginning of the regulated gambling industry in Las Vegas.

1946 – Introduction of the Iconic Welcome Sign: The iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign was actually introduced later, in 1959, by graphic designer Betty Willis.

1929 – First Airport: The first airport, Anderson Field, was established in Las Vegas in 1929, opening the area to air travel.

1941 – El Rancho Vegas Starts a Trend: El Rancho Vegas, opened in 1941, was the first hotel-casino on the Vegas Strip and set the trend for future resorts.

1905 – Arrival of the Railroad: The San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad reached Las Vegas in 1905, a key event in the city’s development.

1935 – Completion of Hoover Dam: The Hoover Dam was completed in 1935, a massive project that brought economic growth and tourism to Las Vegas.

1946 – Opening of the Pink Flamingo Hotel: Bugsy Siegel’s Flamingo Hotel opened in 1946 and is often credited with initiating the era of luxury hotels in Las Vegas.

1906 – Opening of the Golden Gate Hotel: The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, originally Hotel Nevada, opened in 1906 and is the oldest continuously operating hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

1944 – Las Vegas Gains Military Importance: The Las Vegas Army Airfield (later Nellis Air Force Base) was established in 1944, bringing a significant military presence to the area.

1931 – Wedding Chapels Boom: Following the legalization of gambling in 1931, Las Vegas also became famous for its quickie weddings, leading to a boom in wedding chapels.

1946 – The First Luxury Resort: The opening of the Flamingo Hotel in 1946 marked the start of Las Vegas as a destination for luxury and entertainment.

1909 – Clark County Created: Las Vegas became part of the newly formed Clark County on July 1, 1909.

1948 – KLAS-TV Begins Broadcasting: KLAS-TV, the first television station in Nevada, began broadcasting in Las Vegas in 1948.

1930s – Development of Fremont Street: The 1930s saw the development of Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, which became known for its casinos and nightlife.

1936 – First Major Casino on Fremont Street: The El Cortez Hotel and Casino opened on Fremont Street in 1936 and is one of the oldest casino-hotel properties in Las Vegas.

1947 – Bugsy Siegel’s Impact: Bugsy Siegel, a notorious gangster, played a significant role in the development of Las Vegas through his investment in the Flamingo Hotel.

1941 – Building of the El Rancho Vegas: The El Rancho Vegas, built in 1941, was the first resort on what would become the Las Vegas Strip.

1907 – Las Vegas High School: Las Vegas High School, the first high school in Las Vegas, was established in 1907.

1939 – The Boulder Club Opens: The Boulder Club, one of Las Vegas’s earliest casinos, opened in 1939 on Fremont Street.

1946 – Opening of the Golden Nugget: The Golden Nugget, one of Las Vegas’s most famous casinos, opened in 1946.

1949 – Opening of the Desert Inn: The Desert Inn, another major hotel-casino, opened on the Las Vegas Strip in 1949.

1948 – McCarran Field Becomes a Commercial Airport: McCarran Field transitioned to commercial aviation use in 1948, later becoming McCarran International Airport.

1931 – Construction Boom Post-Gambling Legalization: The legalization of gambling in 1931 led to a construction boom in Las Vegas, with new casinos and hotels being built.

1937 – First Helicopter Flight over Las Vegas: The first recorded helicopter flight over Las Vegas occurred in 1937, a significant event in the city’s aviation history.

1905 – First Bank: The First State Bank, Las Vegas’ first bank, opened in 1905, signifying the growing economic development of the city.

1942 – The Opening of the Last Frontier: The Hotel Last Frontier opened in 1942, becoming the second major resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

1944 – Establishment of Basic Magnesium Plant: The Basic Magnesium Plant was established in 1944 in Henderson, near Las Vegas, significantly contributing to the World War II war effort.

1909 – Creation of Las Vegas School District: The Las Vegas School District was established in 1909, highlighting the city’s focus on education.

1930 – Las Vegas Hospital: The first hospital in Las Vegas, now known as University Medical Center, was established in 1930.

1946 – The Opening of Club Bingo: Club Bingo, a predecessor to the Sahara Hotel and Casino, opened on the Las Vegas Strip in 1946.

1941 – The El Rancho Fire: A major fire in 1960 destroyed the El Rancho Vegas, a significant event in the Strip’s history.

1930s – The Growth of the Downtown Area: The 1930s saw significant growth in downtown Las Vegas, including the addition of many new businesses and casinos.

1949 – Thunderbird Hotel Opens: The Thunderbird Hotel opened on the Las Vegas Strip in 1949, adding to the city’s growing reputation as an entertainment destination.

1931 – Boulder City Establishment: Boulder City was established in 1931 to house workers constructing the Hoover Dam.

1905 – First Church: The first church in Las Vegas, a Catholic church, was established in 1905.

87. 1946 – First Nightclub on the Strip: The Flamingo Hotel opened the first nightclub on the Las Vegas Strip in 1946.

1935 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Visit: President Roosevelt visited the Hoover Dam in 1935, signifying its national importance.

1907 – First Auto in Las Vegas: The first automobile in Las Vegas arrived in 1907, marking the beginning of the automotive age in the city.

1947 – Fabulous Flamingo Hotel Expansion: The Fabulous Flamingo Hotel underwent significant expansion in 1947, enhancing its status as a major Strip destination.

1932 – Las Vegas’ First Paved Road: In 1932, the first paved road, Fremont Street, was laid down in Las Vegas.

1948 – First Commercial Flight: The first commercial flight landed at McCarran Field in 1948, opening Las Vegas to more tourists.

1940s – Rise of Organized Crime: The 1940s saw the rise of organized crime’s influence in Las Vegas, shaping the city’s development and reputation.

1948 – First Newscast: Las Vegas’ first television newscast was broadcasted in 1948.

1940s – Fremont Street’s Neon Lights: Fremont Street became known as “Glitter Gulch” in the 1940s due to its bright neon lights.

1939 – First Air-Conditioned Building: The Apache Hotel, opened in 1932, installed Las Vegas’ first air conditioning in 1939.

1946 – Las Vegas’ First Luxury Resort: The opening of the Flamingo Hotel in 1946 marked Las Vegas’ transformation into a luxury resort destination.

1931 – First Liquor License: The Pair-O-Dice Club on the Las Vegas Strip was granted the first liquor license in 1931.

1944 – First Major Fire Station: Las Vegas’ first major fire station was established in 1944, improving public safety infrastructure.

1940 – First Outdoor Swimming Pool: The El Rancho Vegas Resort opened the first outdoor swimming pool in Las Vegas in 1940.

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As we all know, Las Vegas is a 24/7 city.  To list highlights of decades to a small list is really an injustice.  Space is limited. However, if you think we left an important date out of our list, please click the contact button below and share your information. Thank you.

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