B.LV
THIS YEAR IN LAS VEGAS ...

WHILE IN THE WORLD ...

-300000 - Nevada still under water
The ocean still covers the region later called Nevada.

-10000 - The very first inhabitants
The presence of water in the valley that will host Las Vegas is already known. Some nomad groups are used to camp (and to leave traces precious to archaeologists) near Tule Springs, just a few miles from the future Las Vegas downtown.

1500 - Paiute campsites
Southern Paiute Indians constitute several campsites around this area.

1776 - Origin of the Spanish Trail
The Franciscan missionary Silvestre Velez de Escalante contributes to trace the so-called Spanish Trail, connecting Santa Fe (New Mexico) and Monterey (Alta California).

1829 - The name of Las Vegas
Rafael Rivera is probably the first white man entering in the Las Vegas valley. He is a young Mexican scout, escorting Antonio Armijo's trading party.
On the way from New Mexico to Los Angeles along the old Spanish Trail, while looking for water, Rivera finds a fertile site that he calls Las Vegas (''The Meadows'').
The discovery of water springs in the middle of an otherwise arid region simplifies considerably the connection between New Mexico and California.

1844 - The first maps of the area
A young officer, John C. Fremont, at the head of an exploring expedition, enters the Las Vegas Valley. In his report, he will describe in detail the Las Vegas springs, and provide accurate maps of the area.

1848 - Mexico cedes this land to US
The war between United States and Mexico ends, and Mexico cedes some territories, among which the land of the future Nevada.

1850 - Las Vegas Valley under New Mexico
The Las Vegas Valley comes under the jurisdiction of New Mexico.

1854 - On the route between Salt Lake and California
The U.S. Congress establishes a monthly mail service between Salt Lake City and California, passing through Las Vegas Springs.

1855 - The Old Mormon Fort
A group of 30 Mormons led by William Bringhurst establishes a settlement known as the Las Vegas Mission.
They build the Las Vegas Fort (later on known as ''The Old Mormon Fort'') to protect travellers from Indians. They also teach agriculture and religion to the Paiutes.

1856 - The first post office
Las Vegas gets its first official post office, named Bringhurst after the Mormon leader Williams Bringhurst. Lead deposits are discovered only twenty miles away from the Las Vegas Fort.

1857 - Bad quality lead, i.e. ''silver''
With great disappointment, the ore extracted from the lead mine is found ''very hard to smelt'' (only later on it will be found that the ''impurities" were silver).
The Mormon leader Brigham Young then decides the mine to be abandoned and the Las Vegas Mission to be terminated.

1861 - The origin of Nevada Territory
President James Buchanan signs the act that forms the Territory of Nevada, and that designates Carson City to be the capital.

1864 - Nevada gets its present name
President Lincoln decides that the Territory of Nevada must write its constitution and become a state government. At the convention in Carson City, three possible names are submitted: Humboldt, Esmeralda, and Nevada.
Nevada (''snow-covered'') is decided to be the name for the 36th member of United States. The Las Vegas region however is not included, being still part of the Territory of Arizona.

1865 - Decatur founds the ''Las Vegas Ranch''
Octavius Decatur Gass rebuilds the Mormon Fort, creating the nucleus of the ''Las Vegas Rancho'' (= Ranch). He cultivates the surrounding fields producing vegetables, fruits and a good wine, which he sells to travellers at the rest stop of Las Vegas.

1867 - Las Vegas Valley is assigned to Nevada
The United States assign the Territory of Arizona to Nevada. The southern part of this region includes the Las Vegas Valley.

1869 - Gambling is legalized in Nevada
Gambling is legalized in Nevada.

1879 - Decatur's first troubles
Octavius Decatur Gass is in debt, and must borrow five thousand dollars from Archibald Stewart.

1881 - Decatur must leave the Ranch to Stewart
Octavius Decatur Gass cannot pay his debt to Archibald Stewart, and must leave to him the Las Vegas Ranch. Under the new management, the Las Vegas Ranch begins prospering.

1884 - Stewart's murder
Archibald Stewart is killed under unclear circumstances. His widow Helen suspecting a neighbour, Conrad Kyle and his friends Shuyler Henry and Hank Parrish brings them to the court, but they will be eventually acquitted. The case will never be solved.

1890 - Clark elected Senator
William A. Clark is elected (or it would be better to say, ''bought enough votes to be elected'') Senator of Montana.

1895 - The birth of the slot machine
Charles Fey invents a three-reel gambling device, which he calls ''The Liberty Bell'', in honour of the symbol of freedom. This machine will be the prototype for the American slot machine.

1898 - The discovery of the gas neon.
William Ramsay, a Scottish chemist discovers the inert gas he calls neon. He will receive the Nobel Prize in 1904.

1900 - A desert valley
Just 19 people populate the Las Vegas Valley.

1901 - William A. Clark at the head of the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad
The rich politician William A. Clark, looking for profit from a railroad link between Salt Lake and Los Angeles, comes at the head of the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad.

1902 - Las Vegas Rancho sold to William A. Clark
Helen J. Stewart, after having lead the business of the Las Vegas Rancho for eighteen years, sells it to William A. Clark, senator of Montana and owner of the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad.
Click here to see the large picture The Las Vegas Rancho: the land sold to the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad is in pink, while the rest is in green.
Courtesy of UNLV Special Collections

1902 - James T. McWilliams discovers a nobody's land
In the meanwhile James T. McWilliams, a canadian surveyor, carrying out a survey of Helen J. Stewart's property, discovers that eighty acres do not belong to anybody and then he files a claim for them.
In the perspective that the railway connecting Salt Lake City to California will be built soon, and that Las Vegas will become a primary stopover, McWilliams bets on a fast growth of this city.
Click here to see the large picture James T. McWilliams
Courtesy of UNLV Special Collections

1904 - McWilliams creates 'his' Las Vegas town
This year starts very quiet for the Las Vegas Valley, and for its less than thirty inhabitants. But the first revolutionary event takes place soon late, when McWilliams creates 'his' town by dividing his property in lots and selling them,
for just one hundred dollars each.The so-called 'McWilliams' Las Vegas Townsite', or also the 'Original Las Vegas Townsite', located less than a mile west of the Las Vegas Ranch. Lots are bought by various kinds of people: miners, gamblers, cowboys etc.
Click here to see the large picture Plat of the Original McWilliams' Townsite of Las Vegas
Courtesy of UNLV Special Collections

1904 - How McWilliams' Las Vegas Townsite looks like
It looks more like a tent encampment, but it already has a post office, two banks, plus one hotel, restaurants, markets, many bars and gambling halls. Have a look at these images, dated between 1904 and 1905.
But will McWilliams be able to compete with the much more powerful Senator Clark?
Click here to see the large picture McWilliams' Las Vegas Townsite: Las Vegas Bank and Trust (located on Wilson Street, near a drugstore) is the first bank in the Las Vegas Valley.
Courtesy of UNLV Special Collections
Click here to see the large picture McWilliams' Las Vegas Townsite: another view of Wilson Street, showing Las Vegas Bank and Trust and a drugstore near the bank, plus other buildings.
Courtesy of UNLV Special Collections
Click here to see the large picture McWilliams' Las Vegas Townsite: The Post Office (located on Railroad Avenue).
Courtesy of UNLV Special Collections
Click here to see the large picture McWilliams' Las Vegas Townsite: a somehow later view of Railroad Avenue, showing also the First State Bank, build aside the Post Office.
Courtesy of UNLV Special Collections
Click here to see the large picture McWilliams' Las Vegas Townsite: once more Railroad Avenue. Beyond the Post Office and the First State Bank, Kuhn's store.
Courtesy of UNLV Special Collections
Click here to see the large picture McWilliams' Las Vegas Townsite: Vegas Home Bakery and Delicatessen.
Courtesy of UNLV Special Collections
Click here to see the large picture McWilliams' Las Vegas Townsite: Supply Yard, where also lumber for nearby mining sites is gathered.
Courtesy of UNLV Special Collections

1900 - Sigmund Freud publishes 'The Interpretatin of Dreams'
Sigmund Freud publishes 'The Interpretatin of Dreams', containing many od the principles at the basis of his theory if psycoanalysis: dreams are the expression of the human unconscious, and when decoded may tell us much of our mind.

1900 - Archaeologist discovery
The archaeologist Arthur Evans discovers at Cnossos, on the island of Crete, the ruins of the famous palace of the King Minos, which according to Greek mythology was hosting, in his Labyrinth, the dreadful Minotaur, a creature half-man and half-bull.

1900 - Oscar Wilde dies
At the age of 46, Oscar Wilde ends his life. He was famous not only for theatre masterpieces like 'The Importance of Being Earnest' and for his novel 'The Picture of Dorian Gray',
but also for his immoral style of life, that scandalized the British society so much to bring him to jail.

1900 - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche dies
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche dies. His philosophical masterpieces, like 'Beyond Good and Evil' and 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra', will reach the fame after his death. His theory of the 'Super-man',
aspiring to affirm his greatness instead of to follow a moral behavior.

1901 - Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi succeeds broadcasting a radio signal (the letter 's' in Morse code) across the Atlantic Ocean. The era of radiotelegraphy begins with this experiment.

1901 - First year for Nobel Prizes
It is the first year for Nobel Prizes. Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, left part of his fortune with the will an yearly award be bestowed to people whose work has 'conferred the greatest benefit on mankind'.

1901 - The President is killed
The President of the United States, William McKinley, is assassinated in Buffalo, New York. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, will then become the new President of the United States.

1901 - Giuseppe Verdi dies
Giuseppe Verdi dies in Milan. He was not only appreciated for the music of operas like 'La Traviata', 'Otello', 'Aida', 'Il Trovatore', by also beloved by the Italian patriots for his support to the 'Risorgimento', the movement aiming at an unified Italy.

1901 - Queen Victoria dies.
Queen Victoria dies. For 64 years, a period commonly known as the 'Victorian Age', she has ruled England not only politically, but also in its culture, style, and moral.

1902 - The Boer War ends.
The Boer War ends. The Boers were opponing to Britain for the proprety of South African gold mines. Although losing the war, with the treaty of Vereeniging the Boers got very favourable conditions.

1902 - Emile Zola dies.
Emile Zola dies. He was the leader of the literary movement called 'naturalism'. Some of his novels, like 'La Terre' and 'Nana', were representing the worst human instincts.
He reached success, but got also many ennemies. He is also famous for his defense of the Jewish captain Alfred Dreyfus.

1902 - Volcano explosion in Martinique
The Volcano Mt. Pelee, in Martinique, explodes. Out of the 30,000 inhabitants of the nearby town of St. Pierre only one survives: a man in jail for drunkenness.

1902 - Teddy bear
It is the birth of the 'Teddy bear', named from the President Teddy Roosevelt who, during a hunting expedition, declined to shoot a bear.

1903 - Orville and Wilbur Wright succeed flying a plane
Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright finally succeed flying a plane. Even though their fly lasted just one minute, it signed the birth of aeronautics.

1903 - The first Western movie
The first Western movie, directed by Edwin S. Porter, appears on the screens. Its title is 'The Great Train Robbery'.

1903 - Nobel Prize for Marie and Pierre Curie
Marie and Pierre Curie, together with Antoine-Henri Becquerel, get the Nobel Prize in Physics for their studies on radioactivity.

1903 - Paul Gauguin dies
Paul Gauguin, master of Impressionism, dies in Polynesia. He has chosen this land to escape the corrupted Europe. His masterpieces have been inspired by the Polynesian style of life.

1904 - Japan declares war to Russia
Japan declares war to Russia, in order to stop the Russian expansion in Asia.

1904 - Britain and France sign the 'Entente Cordiale'
Britain and France sign the 'Entente Cordiale' (i.e. 'cordial understanding'), leaving back a centennial hostility. Infact they urge to counteract the expansion of countries like Russia, Japan and Germany.

1904 - Anton Chekhov dies
Anton Chekhov suddendly dies, at the age of 44. His scripts have revolutionazed the theatre style. Among his masterpieces, 'Uncle Vanya' and 'The Three Sisters'.

1904 - New York City gets its subway line
New York City gets its subway line, running from the Brooklyn Bridgw to Broadway at the 145th Street.

1904 - J.M. Barrie writes 'Peter Pan'
J.M. Barrie writes 'Peter Pan' a play for theater about the fantastic stories of 'the boy who will never grow up'.

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