From Sands to Riches – The Story of Las Vegas
Las Vegas, a bright and vibrant town known for its casinos and amazing gambling experience. However, it wasn’t always like that, it all started as a desolate land, a desert, which gradually grew into a safe haven for mobsters, and it was like that until Howard Hughes arrived. So, here we will go over the history of Las Vegas and how it became one of the most iconic cities on the planet.
Thousands of years, before there were casinos, internet and online bingo, and before the arrival of the first settlers, Indian tribes marked the land, and the first foreigner they encountered was in the 1770s. His name was Francisco Gracias, a Spanish missionary, who described the tribes as very friendly, in his travel notes. However, it took another hundred years before the settlers started coming in. Explorer John Fermont started surveying the land in 1844, and his report ended up serving as a guide for the future settlers.
Waves of Settlers
Ten years after John’s expedition various other explorers, missionaries, traders and settlers started rolling in. In 1854, the town became a regular mail stop on a monthly basis. In addition to main roads, military roads were added, and the arriving missionaries at that time started to spread the Mormon religion. In 1855, Brigham Young decided to build the fort in order to protect the immigrants and U.S mail from Indians. This was a clear sign that Vegas became a permanent residence.
Next 50 years
Las Vegas valley continued to develop, as more train stops, trading posts, and mining operations started to pop up. As the railroads started to dominate the city, ranchers, and railroad workers were some of the main occupations, and the very essence of the Wild West began to bloom in Las Vegas. In other, citizens acquired an appetite for alcohol, gambling, and prostitutes. Since Nevada banned gambling back in 1910, the casinos were illegal, so the state law was not held in high regard here.
Such an attitude toward authority made the town a perfect refuge for mobsters and outlaws, as it contained a fertile ground for organized crime to bloom. In the 1930s, gambling was legal once again, so brand new casinos and showgirl venues started to form on Fremont Street. Furthermore, Hoover Dam was under construction, and the project brought along thousands of construction works, which meant the business was booming more than even in Las Vegas.
A wealthy businessman Howard Hughes was staying in Las Vegas back in 1966. Since he liked the town so much he decided to stay and he purchased the hotel. He did not stop there, he felt like going on a hotel shopping spree and bought over a dozen more, which is how the mobsters got pushed aside, and in the 1980s, almost all Mafia held casinos were no more.