1942
THIS YEAR IN LAS VEGAS ...

WHILE IN THE WORLD ...

The death of a star
On January 16, Carole Lombard, the famous Hollywood star and wife of Clark Gable, dies in air accident. The aircraft crashed against Mt. Potosi, in Southern Nevada.
Clark Gable reaches Las Vegas, to better follow the work of the rescue teams. Unfortunately, they will not find any survivor to the tragedy.

The Last Frontier
On October 30, R.E. Griffith, owner of a movie theatre chain in Texas, opens a hotel called the Last Frontier on the former site of the 91 Club. This is the second hotel on the Strip, and has 107 rooms.
Like the El Rancho Vegas, also the Last Frontier is western themed. However, the Last Frontier outclasses El Rancho Vegas for its elegance.
It also contains original furniture, purchased from older downtown casinos. A masterpiece is the antique 40-foot mahogany bar, originally in the Arizona Club.

The Pioneer Club
The Pioneer Club opens downtown, at the crossing between First Street and Fremont Street.

The Basic magnesium plant
The Basic magnesium plant, the biggest one in the States, starts its production. Magnesium is of strategic importance, both in the production of bombs and in that of aircraft parts.
The plant is located about 25 km southeast of Las Vegas. The town of Henderson is created, for the employers of the plant.

The First Wedding Chapel on the Strip
The opening of the first wedding chapel on the Las Vegas Strip (in the Last Frontier hotel) is dated this year.
It is named ''The Little Church of the West.'' Built in California redwood, it is a replica of a church located in a pioneer town.

Planning the genocide
On January 20, in the Grossen-Wannsee Conference, important Nazi officials discuss what they call ''the final solution to the Jewish question'', namely how to exterminate them in the most efficient way.
Shooting people individually is found to be too inefficient and expensive. The decision is then to send Jews (as well as communists, homosexuals, Gypsies) to concentration camps, and to use them as work force.
Most will die ''naturally,'' from exhaustion or starvation. Those unable to work (among which women and children) will be gassed to death and cremated. In this way, the Nazi plan the Holocaust by ''scientific'' methods.

The Battle of Midway
After Pearl Harbor attack, Japanese and U.S. Navies engaged a battle in the Coral Sea, both getting serious losses, but with the Americans getting the worst. Japanese plans were to invade of many islands in the Pacific.
However, things are going to change. In June, a fleet of Japanese warships moves towards Midway, an atoll of strategic importance. However, the American services decrypt on time the order of attack.
After a series of unsuccessful attacks, on June 5, American planes finally localize the Japanese fleet and shoot down four of its aircraft carriers. The Japanese admiral Yamamoto is obliged to order the retreat.

The Manhattan Project
The U.S. Army decides to carry on a project leading to the nuclear bomb. This project, involving about 100,000 people, is lead by two people: L.R. Groves, a military engineer, and J.R. Oppenheimer, a nuclear physicist.
It is called Manhattan Project, from the first site of its headquarters, while Oppenheimer, together with other former physicists, starts working in a secret laboratory near Los Alamos, New Mexico.
This project will reach its important and terrible goal within three years.

The first atomic pile
A team led by the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi builds the first atomic pile. The experiment is aimed at producing a nuclear chain reaction, where neutrons from the fission of uranium atoms trigger the split of other atoms.
The atomic pile is composed by pieces of uranium, separated by bricks of graphite, used to slow down neutrons, so to increase the induced fission; movable cadmium rods are used to absorb neutrons, to control the reaction.
The experiment begins on December 1, and last until the next day. At the end, the instruments have measured a net energy production, proving that the nuclear reaction has taken place.

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