Some History of Las Vegas
Trip Start Oct 10, 2005
5Trip End Oct 14, 2005
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The Las Vegas Valley was discovered in December of 1829 by Rafael Rivera, an eighteen-year-old Mexican Scout with the Antonio Armijo Trading Caravan out of abiquiu, New Mexico. The Armijo party was attempting to discover a new trade route from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Los Angeles, California. Rivera's discovery resulted in the "missing link" in what came to be known as the "Old Spanish Trail" which was used quite extensively as a trade route until 1849.
At the time of Rivera's discovery, the territory of Nevada was still a part of Mexico. On February 2, 1848, as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico ceded to the United States present day Nevada, Utah, California, Arizona, Western Colorado and New Mexico for the sum of $15 Million.
In 1905 the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad founded the City of Las Vegas. The town remained relatively unpopulated until 1931 when work began on Hoover Dam. Hoover Dam, one of the seven man-made wonders of the modern world, was constructed in the years between 1931 to 1935.
In 1930, Assembly Bill 98, which came to be commonly known as the "Wide Open Gambling Bill" was passed by the Nevada Legislature. It was not until 1940, however, that major casino action in Nevada started to shift from Northern Nevada to Las Vegas. It was during this period of infancy that Tom Mix, a famous cowboy movie star of the day, prophesied that Las Vegas would one day become the "Entertainment Capital of the World."
By 1950, Las Vegas was well on its way toward fulfilling Mix's prophesy. With Celebrities like Lana Turner, Frank Sinatra and Howard Hughes frequenting new hotel resorts like the Flamingo and El Rancho, Las Vegas became front page news.
During this era, Las Vegas began a period of rapid population growth - a trend that continues to this day. With this growth came new families and people who were not content with Las Vegas's notorious open gambling image. These people wanted the image of Las Vegas "cleaned up."
In response, the State of Nevada established a State Gaming Commission and began regulating the gaming industry as never before anywhere in this country. In Las Vegas, the State 's efforts were supported by independent local controls. Some of the effective methods used in Las Vegas to regulate gaming were zoning and land use controls, Liquor and gaming licensing code regulations, and building and fire codes that today include building and fire safety provisions which are considered among the toughest in the World.
Today, there is nothing in all of the world quite like Las Vegas, the unchallenged "Gaming Capital of the World." Las Vegas is home to 11 of the top 13 hotels in the world and has more hotel rooms than any other city in America. In 1994, a new record was set with over 28 million visitors. In addition, more than 19 billion was spent in Las Vegas/Clark County by tourist and conventioneers.
Interestingly, Las Vegas is also becoming a multi-cultural melting pot of different races and ethnic groups. In fact, in 1995, the population of Las Vegas's minority groups numbered 254,927 persons, or 24.6 percent of the population. Hispanics comprise the largest minority group population with 116,064 persons, or 11.2 percent of the population. As a result, today Las Vegas has a profusion of different people, cultures, languages, foods, music, arts, and attitudes, which collectively have produced a tremendous diversity which has added new depth and richness to this remarkable city.
Clearly, the success of Las Vegas has been the result of unique and successful integration of the needs of government, business, and the community to create one of the most remarkable cities in the world, a city which will continue to be among the Leaders worldwide in innovative gaming experiment aimed at preserving gaming's worldwide appeal while simultaneously maintaining a rich, satisfying and diverse adult and family-oriented life-style.