Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is about the city proper. For the metropolitan area, see Vegas sex club Vegas Valley. Las Vegas was settled in 1905 and officially incorporated in 1911.
Population growth has accelerated since the 1960s, and between 1990 and 2000 the population nearly doubled, increasing by 85. Las Vegas” is often used to describe areas beyond official city limits—especially the areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip, which is actually located within the unincorporated communities of Paradise, Winchester, and Enterprise. This view of downtown Las Vegas shows a mushroom cloud in the background. Scenes such as this were typical during the 1950s.
From 1951 to 1962 the government conducted 100 atmospheric tests at the nearby Nevada Test Site. Perhaps the earliest visitors to the Las Vegas area were nomadic Paleo-Indians, who traveled there 10,000 years ago, leaving behind petroglyphs. Anasazi and Paiute tribes followed at least 2,000 years ago. A young Mexican scout named Rafael Rivera is credited as the first non-Native American to encounter the valley, in 1829. Eleven years later members of the LDS Church chose Las Vegas as the site to build a fort halfway between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, where they would travel to gather supplies. The fort was abandoned several years afterward.
Union Pacific Railroad tracks were auctioned in what would become the downtown area. In 1911, Las Vegas was incorporated as a city. 1931 was a pivotal year for Las Vegas. At that time, Nevada legalized casino gambling and reduced residency requirements for divorce to six weeks. This year also witnessed the beginning of construction on nearby Hoover Dam. The influx of construction workers and their families helped Las Vegas avoid economic calamity during the Great Depression. The construction work was completed in 1935.
In 1941, the Las Vegas Army Air Corps Gunnery School was established. Currently known as Nellis Air Force Base, it is home to the aerobatic team called the Thunderbirds. Following World War II, lavishly decorated hotels, gambling casinos, and big-name entertainment became synonymous with Las Vegas. In the 1950s the Moulin Rouge opened and became the first racially integrated casino-hotel in Las Vegas. 1963, when the limited Test Ban Treaty required that nuclear tests be moved underground.