A Brief History of Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet, and millions of people visit Sin City each year to enjoy legal gambling, high-end shopping, and the nonstop party that is the Las Vegas Strip. Las Vegas has an interesting history, so if your career as a travelling nurse eventually takes you to Las Vegas for work, you might want to brush up on your history of the city to appreciate it on a deeper level.

The Early Days of Las Vegas

Las Vegas officially became a city in 1905. After the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad constructed a railroad line to the area and auctioned off local lands, the city became a railway stop and an important transportation hub of the American West. Abundant local water sources made the area a perfect refueling stop for long-distance journeys. You can visit Historic West Las Vegas just west of the railroad tracks in present day Las Vegas.

Las Vegas citizens voted for incorporation on June 11, 1911, and some of the most important early establishments rose during the following decades. In 1922, the Westside School was completed and remains today as an official Las Vegas Historic Property. Las Vegas gained a reputation as a great place for a divorce in the early 1930s when the city’s laws enabled “quickie” divorces after just six weeks of residence. Divorcing couples would often stay at local dude ranches until they met their residency requirement, aiding the local ranching economy and building a reputation for the city.

In 1931, the Hoover Dam construction project started, and a massive influx of workers boosted the local economy. In 1941, the construction of the nearby Las Vegas Army Airfield (now known as Nellis Air Force Base) led to another population boom and the Las Vegas Strip began shaping into what we know today.

Gaming in Las Vegas

In 1941, the El Rancho Vegas hotel and casino opened on the Sunset Strip, followed by the Last Frontier in 1942, the Flamingo in 1946, and Hotel Thunderbird in 1948. In the 1960s, mogul Howard Hughes started buying hotels and casinos and led the way to the corporate ownership of hotels and casinos that form the backbone of the Las Vegas gaming economy. Las Vegas continued to evolve over the next several decades into the glitzy tourist destination we know it as today.

While it may be fun to enjoy the sights and sounds of Las Vegas during your days off while working as a travelling nurse in the area, take time to visit the historic district and learn more about this incredible town during your stay.

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