Viva Las Vegas! Millions of people stampede the casinos yearly hoping to strike it rich. It is a city that literally never sleeps. Las Vegas is currently home to some of the largest and grandest resort hotels in the world. With each one trying to surpass the previous resort hotel, they keep getting more dazzling and more glorious.
The city wasn’t always so glamorous. Las Vegas, also know as “Meadows," was first located by Spanish traders rushing to California during the gold rush. An American solider and explorer John C. Freemont camped at the springs 14 years later while leading an overland expedition west to California. Freemont street in downtown bears his name.
In 1855, Mormons settled the area in a desperate act to protect their mail route between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. Then in 1855, after the mail crisis was over, they evacuated the area and left it for the native tribes.
In 1864, the territory around Las Vegas became Nevada, thus admitted to the union and became the 36th state. At that time, only 11,000 square miles around Las Vegas was part of Nevada. The rest of the area was part of Arizona territory. Congress ceded the region of Nevada two years later and created its current boundaries.
Gambling didn’t appear tin Nevada until May 15th, 1905 when the Union Pacific Railroad auctioned off 1200 lots in a single day. This influenced the expanded growth of gambling houses, saloons, and stores. The city flourished until 1910, when the state introduced an extremely strict law against gambling. Even though this law stayed in effect for over twenty years, gambling still flourished in “Underground" games. Then, at the height of the Great Depression, legalized gambling returned to the state of Nevada. Finally, in 1940, a group of California investors built the first hotel on what is now the Las Vegas Strip. It’s name, the “El Rancho Hotel and Casino."
Today Las Vegas is growing in incredible leaps and bounds. The changes are absolutely amazing. Las Vegas is also the marriage capital of the world. Due to the ease of getting a marriage license, thousands of couples flock to Las Vegas yearly to be married. While we were living in CA (only four hours away) we were there several times a year. Each time we were went there are more and more glamorous hotels in different levels of development. It is still this way today. Where will this craziness end? We’ll probably never know.
Since we visited often, I will just tell you some of the more enjoyable and interesting attractions in the area.
|Freemont Experience||Red Rock Canyon||Las Vegas Motor Speedway||Las Vegas Natural History Museum||Unversity of Nevada|
|Wet n Wild Park||Gallery of FIne Art - Bellagio||M & M World||Mount Charleston||Ethel M Chocolate Factory|
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Page last updated August 2014