Las Vegas and the Mob

The Flamingo Hotel under construction.  Come learn the real history behind who actually built
this famed resort.

Las Vegas and the Mob

There's a great deal of myth that has sprung up over the years about the Mob and Las Vegas.  From "Bugsy" Siegel to "Lefty Rosenthal, the stories are colorful, sometimes apocryphal but are they true?

On Thursday, Sept. 4th, Untold Stories will take a look at Las Vegas and the Mob.

Joining us for a Roundtable Discussion will be CSN History Professor Dr. Michael Green, Local historian and curator Brian Paco Alvarez, former News Bureau manager Don Payne and former FBI agent Dennis Arnoldy.

We will examine the era "when the Mob ran Vegas" and separate the myths from the facts.  It should be a fascinating evening of history and stories that you don't want to miss.

Come early and enjoy the Farmer's Market or stop by enjoy some music with your wine.

The discussion begins at 7:00 pm in the Desert Learning Center.

We hope to see you there!

Untold Stories:  Las Vegas and the Mob

Thursday, Sept. 4th

Las Vegas Springs Preserve

7:00 pm

Admission $12

Notorious Flamingo owner, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel

Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal during the "Casino" era






Posted on Monday, August 25, 2008 at 12:43PM by Registered CommenterLasVegasLynn in , | CommentsPost a Comment

In the Shadow of the Bomb


Untold Stories:

In the Shadow of the Bomb

Thursday, August 7th

Las Vegas Springs Preserve

We look back at the years of nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site with nuclear scientists and workers as well as those who watched the early morning blasts from Las Vegas.

An engrossing evening of history and memories from two men who worked at the Nevada Test Site, scientist Al O'Donnell and Roger Staley.

Sen. Richard Bryan was a young teenager growing up in Las Vegas during the above ground testing years and he will talk about waking up in the early morning hours to experience the detonations.

Nate Schwartz owned a bar "Prospector's Headquarters" that was a supply store for uranium miners.

So come and learn about the history of above-ground testing and living in the shadow of the bomb.

Thursday, August 7th
Las Vegas Springs Preserve

7:00 pm

$12 admission

We hope to see you there!







Posted on Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 11:04PM by Registered CommenterLasVegasLynn in , | CommentsPost a Comment

Las Vegas Strip: The Early Years




Everyone thinks they know the real history of the Las Vegas Strip

But did you know that Bugsy Siegel didn't build the Flamingo Hotel from scratch? 

Do you know who the first nude showgirl was? 

Do you know who Jakie Freidman was? 

Do you believe that Tommy Hull was inspired to build the El Rancho Vegas because his car broke down and he counted the cars that passed him on the old highway?

Well, if you don't know the real answers to these questions or if you think you do and want confirmation of that, then come out to the Springs Preserve on Thursday evening, July 3rd for our next installment of "Untold Stories' where we explore the real history of the early years of the Las Vegas Strip.

Joining us will be:

Betty Bunch: a dancer who came here in the early 1950s and is still dancing on the Strip today.

Lisa Medford; the first nude showgirl (okay, we gave you one answer)

George Stamos: writer of the original Strip Hotel histories for the Las Vegas Sun in 1979.

Dr. Michael Green: historian and Professor at the College of Southern Nevada.

It all happens on July 3rd at 7:00 pm at the Springs Preserve.  Gas is over $4 a gallon so if you are spending the 4th of July weekend in town, then come join us for a great night of history and stories.

Come early for the Farmers Market and the Mojitos and Mozart in the Wolfgang Puck Cafe.

You'll be glad you did.



Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 9:48PM by Registered CommenterLasVegasLynn in | CommentsPost a Comment

Viva Las Vegas Neon



Neon Signage designed by Brian "Buzz" Leming

On Thursday, June 5th we are saluting Neon Designers Brian "Buzz" Leming and the incomparable Betty Willis as part of our "Untold Stories" at the Springs Preserve.

Betty Willis was born and raised in Las Vegas.  Her family used to travel by train to Los Angeles when she was younger and she fell in love with neon signs and their vibrant colors.  After studying at the California Art Institute in Pasadena and working in the art department/marketing at the old MGM studios, she returned to Las Vegas and began her career as a Neon Designer in those halycon classic Las Vegas days.  She has designed many of the most iconic signs we associate with Las Vegas:  The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, the Moulin Rouge and the Blue Angel, just to name a few.

Brian "Buzz" Leming grew up in Henderson and always loved drawing.  He became a fireman with the local department before deciding that what he really wanted to do was design neon signs.  He mentored under Betty Willis and worked with the legendary Hermon Boergne and Kermit Wayne.  His signs include the Lawless Center (above), the Hacienda Horse and Rider that rides above Fremont Street and the Rio sign.  He was part of the team that designed that original Aladdin sign and the original Caesars Palace sign.  Buzz is retiring this year after a long and colorful career.

We will be raffling off three limited edition prints of the Fabulous Las Vegas sign, courtesy of our friends at the Las Vegas News Bureau.

It all happens on Thursday, June 5th at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve

7:00 pm

Admission is $12.

You won't want to miss this rare opportunity to hear these two greats talk about their careers.




Special thanks to RoadsidePictures for letting us use these images. 

Posted on Monday, May 26, 2008 at 2:09PM by Registered CommenterLasVegasLynn in | CommentsPost a Comment

Southern Nevada and the New Deal


CCC workers take a lunch

(Image courtesy of the Boulder City Museum and Historical Association) 


As part of Historic Preservation Month, the Friends of Classic Las Vegas and the Classic Las Vegas Roadshow are proud to announce our upcoming panel on Southern Nevada and the New Deal.


Hosted by the Nevada State Museum and Friends of Classic Las Vegas, this informative Roadshow event will delve into the history of how in the depths of the Great Depression, the New Deal's effect not only on the country but on Southern Nevada specifically.


Please join us to hear Historians Dennis McBride and Peter Gough and long-time residents Mike Pinjuv, Johnny Pinjuv and Bonnie Rams as they discuss the Las Vegas that they knew and what the New Deal meant for the Valley.

It will be a wonderful evening of history, stories and memories and you don't want to miss it!

Wednesday, May 14th

Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas

700 Twin Lakes Dr

Lorenzi Park

5:00 - 6:00 pm  Reception

6:15 - 8:15 pm  Roundtable Discussion

Refreshments will be served.


We look forward to seeing you there! 


Posted on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 11:01AM by Registered CommenterLasVegasLynn in , | CommentsPost a Comment