TODAY IN HISTORY: The Establishment of Las Vegas (May 15, 1905)
On May 15, 1905, the Los Angeles, Salt Lake and San Pedro Railroad auctioned off 110 acres and established the railroad town of Las Vegas. Vegas was a layover point for the railroad and was not incorporated as a city until 1911. Gambling was not legalized there until 1931.
The American mafia took note when Bugsy Siegal proposed the location as ideal for his Flamingo Hotel in 1946 and funneled millions of dollars in money belonging to organized crime into the area. With the completion of Hoover Dam and the constant stream of tourist dollars, the city became a mecca for thrill seekers and a booming job market.