Old Vegas

1855 – The Las Vegas Mormon Fort is constructed along the Las Vegas Creek and inhabited by the first non-native settlers in the Vegas Valley. (Photo: David Stanley)


1864 – Nevada admitted to the union as the 36th state.


1900 – Population of Las Vegas: 22


1905 – Las Vegas is founded as a city on May 15th.


1906 – The Overland Hotel (future Las Vegas Club) and the Hotel Nevada (future Golden Gate) are constructed at Fremont and Main streets.


1910 – Population of Las Vegas: 800


1911 – Las Vegas incorporated on June 1st.


1920 – Population of Las Vegas: 2,304


1922 – The Colorado River Compact is signed by 7 states, the terms dictating how much water each state could use.


1930 – Population of Las Vegas: 5,165


1931 – The Nevada State Legislature legalizes gambling.


1931 – Construction begins on Hoover Dam, bringing an influx of workers and their families to the Las Vegas Valley.


1935 – Hoover Dam completed. At the time, it is the tallest dam in the world.


1940 – Population of Las Vegas: 8,422.


1941 – The Las Vegas Army Air Field is built in the northeast, which is later renamed Nellis Air Force Base.


1942 – The strip’s first wedding chapel, The Little Church of the West opens.


1944 – The Huntridge Theater, designed by S. Charles Lee, opens as part of the Huntridge Neighborhood Housing Development.


1946 – Fremont Street from Main to Third streets is named Glitter Gulch by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce.


1948 – McCarran Airport opens off of Las Vegas Blvd.


1950 – Population of Las Vegas: 24,624


1950s – Many hotel/casinos are opened on the strip, including: The Desert Inn, Sahara, Sands, Royal Nevada, Riviera, Dunes, Hacienda, Tropicana and Stardust. The Westerner Club, Horseshoe Club, Lucky Strike Club, Birdcage Casino, Silver Palace and Fremont open on Fremont Street.


1951 – The first Atomic Bomb is detonated at the Nevada Test Site, north of the city. Thousands flocked to watch the show. (Photo Courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration)


1957 – The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is established.


1959 – The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign was created by Betty Willis.


1960s – The Mint, Club Bingo, Lucky Casino, Lady Luck and Four Queens open on Fremont Street. (Photo:vincentesloboda)


1960 – Population of Las Vegas: 64,405 with a size of 25 square miles


1966 – The Aladdin and Caesars Palace open on the strip.


1966 – Howard Hughes begins his buying spree in Las Vegas, snapping up hotels and other businesses.


1970 – Population of Las Vegas: 125,787


1970s – The Plaza and California open on Fremont Street. The Circus Circus, MGM Grand, Harrahs, Imperial Palace, Barbary Coast and Vegas World open on the strip.


1970s – Corporations investing heavily in the hotel/casino industry in Las Vegas. Gaming becomes a sought-after investment opportunity in the U.S.


1976 – The First Station Casinos property, The Bingo Palace (later renamed Palace Station), opens.


1980 – Population of Las Vegas: 164,674


1980 – The Fitzgerald’s Hotel and Casino opens on Fremont Street.


1980s – The Mirage and Ballys open on the strip.


1980s – Growth in the Las Vegas Valley reaches 7% per year.


1990 – Population of Las Vegas: 258,295


1990s – The Excalibur, Luxor, Treasure Island, Monte Carlo, New-York New-York, Bellagio, Paris, Mandalay Bay, Venetian, Boulder Station, Sunset Station and Texas Station open. (Photo: Darwin Cruz)


1995 – The Fremont Street Experience opens, ending auto traffic on the street.


2000 – Population of Las Vegas: 478,434


2000s – The new Aladdin, Wynn, Planet Hollywood, Palms, Green Valley Ranch, Red Rock, Santa Fe, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho, Palazzo, Encore, Cosmopolitan and City Center open.


2005 – The World Market Center opens. (Courtesy Of: World Market Center Las Vegas)


2007 – The Fremont East Entertainment District opens as part of the city’s downtown revitalization efforts.


2010 – Population of Las Vegas: 583,756


2012 – The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement opens. Check out our work at the Mob Museum!


2012 – The new Las Vegas City Hall opens, allowing Zappos to renovate and move in to the old City Hall building.


2013 – Zappos.com headquartered in downtown Vegas.


2014 – 41.1 million people visit Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Mormon Fort

Las Vegas Founded

Hoover Dam Completed

The Glitter Gulch

The First Atomic Bomb Is Detonated

The Four Queens

Tropicana & Las Vegas Blvd.

The Las Vegas Strip

The World Market Center Las Vegas

The Mob Museum

The Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas Sign