This Day In History

Please consider This a “Work in Progress”!
I am always open to help.  So if you know of any important dates, please send them my way.

January

1: New Years Day

3: 1997 / New York- New York Hotel & Casino opens

13: 1906 / Hotel Nevada opened at 1 Fremont Street. Las Vegas first hotel structure and first with indoor plumbing and the first telephone in the city.  “Ring 1” was the phone number. (The name changed to Golden Gate in 1955)

14: 1970/ Diana Ross & The Supremes final engagement at the New Frontier Hotel and Casino. The show marked Diana Ross’ final performance with Supremes Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong. At the conclusion of the show, new Supremes lead singer Jean Terrell was brought onstage and introduced to the audience.

27: 1951 / Nuclear weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site began with a 1-kiloton-of-TNT (4.2 TJ) bomb dropped above ground on Frenchman Flat
27: 1993 /  The Dunes Hotel and Casino finally closed its doors after operating for nearly 38 years. The Bellagio now sits where the Dunes once stood.

29: 1958 / Hollywood movie stars Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were married at the El Rancho Vegas. They were still married when Paul Newman died on September 26, 2008, at the age of 83.

February

2: 1998 / 6.5 year-long Las Vegas Hotel Strike ends (Washington post)

March

19: 1931 / Gaming is legalized in the State of Nevada

April

12: 1987 / Irish rock band U2 plays to its first non-sellout show at the Thomas and Mack Center then goes to Fremont Street to film the video for “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”

23: 1956 / Elvis Presley makes his first appearance on a Las Vegas stage.  A two-week engagement at the New Frontier.  Unfortunately, Las Vegas was not ready for the soon-to-be “King of Rock n Roll”.   His shows were met with a cool reception.

May

10: 1997 / The last Amtrak train leaves the station in the back of the Plaza Hotel in Downtown Las Vegas. It was the only train station in the U.S. located in a casino.

23: 1955 / Dunes Hotel and Casin opens (where the Bellagio sits today). It was the 10th resort on what became the Las Vegas Strip.

June

2: 1966/ Four Queens Resort and Casino opens in Downtown Las Vegas

14: 1986/ Vegas Mob Boss Tony “the ant” Spilotro and his brother Michael disappeared after they drove away together from Michael’s Oak Park home. On June 22, their bodies were found, one on top of the other and stripped down to their undershorts, buried in a cornfield in Enos, Indiana. An autopsy determined they died on June 14

July

31: 1969 / Elvis Presley made his first public stage appearance anywhere in eight years when he opened a four-week engagement at the International (Hilton) Hotel

August

1: 1942 / Las Vegas Fire and Rescue was founded

20: 1964 / The Beatles only performance in Las Vegas. Shows were at 4 and 9 p.m. Tickets cost $2, $3, $4 and $5

October

18: 1968 / Circus Circus opens. was the first family-oriented casino in Las Vegas. It opened as a casino-only operation. The hotel was built later with a loan from the Teamster Pension Fund (Chicago Mafia)

27: 1993 / Steve Wynn, owner of the Mirage Hotel & Casino, dressed as a pirate, presided as the Master of Ceremonies over the opening of his new Treasure Island resort by imploding the Dunes Hotel & Casino in a grand fashion display of fireworks & pyrotechnics.

November

7: 1995 / The Landmark Hotel and Casino imploded ( Think: the spaceship tower from the movie “Mars Attacks”)
7: 1941 / The El Cortez Hotel and Casino opens in Downtown Las Vegas, and is one of the oldest casino-hotel properties in Las Vegas

21: 1980 / The MGM Grand ( now Bally’s Las Vegas) fire occurred. The fire killed 85 people, most died from smoke inhalation. The fire began from a refrigerated pastry display case in one of the restaurants, located on the first floor. Fire engulfed the resort’s casino, and smoke traveled into the hotel tower.

22: 1995 / The movie “Casino” was released

December

4: 1973 / The original MGM Grand Hotel opened with 2,100 rooms, making it one of the largest hotels in the world.  In 1980 it was the site of one of the worst high-rise fires in United States history. In 1986 MGM sold the property to Bally Manufacturing and they renamed it Bally’s.

12: 1976 / Elvis Presley performed his last show in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Hilton

17: 2008 / Las Vegas Strip was covered in 3.6 inches of snow

18: 1993 / MGM Grand opens with an extensive Wizard of Oz theme.

31: 1996 / Hacienda Resort imploded (replaced by Mandalay Bay)
31: 1974 / The California Hotel and Casino opens in Downtown las Vegas
31: 1967 / Evel Knievel jumps the fountains at Caesars Palace Las Vegas but failed on the landing. Knievel died in 2007 at age 69