Category: Archive

On This Date: June 20,1947, Mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, Shot & Killed in Beverly Hills, CA

June 20, 2017
Bugsy Siegel Mug Shot

Bugsy Siegel

On this date: Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was shot and killed in Beverly Hills, California. In 1945, Bugsy Siegal, was instrumental in establishing the first resort on the now famous Las Vegas Strip with the opening of the Flamingo Hotel & Casino.

Siegel befriended fellow hooligan Meyer Lansky, with whom he established the Bugs-Meyer Gang, a band of ruthless Jewish mobsters that ran a group of contract killers under the name Murder, Inc.

Siegel opened The Flamingo Hotel & Casino at a total cost of $6 million on December 26, 1946. Billed as the world’s most luxurious hotel, the 105-room property and first luxury hotel on the Strip, it was built seven miles from Downtown Las Vegas out the the city limits in Clark County Nevada.


Bugsy was brutally killed On the evening of June 20, 1947, when bullets came crashing through his living room window in Beverly Hills. Meanwhile back in Las Vegas, three of Lansky’s cohorts entered the Flamingo Hotel and declared a takeover. Although Lansky denied involvement in the hit, there is little doubt that Siegel was murdered on orders.

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On This Date: May 26, 1989 – Three UNLV Rebel Basketball Players photographed in a hot tub with Richie “The Fixer” Perry

May 26, 2017
Review Journal Sunday front page news

Ritchie “The Fixer” with UNLV Basketball players in hot tub

On this date May 26, 1989, Three University of Las Vegas, (UNLV), Mens Basketball players are photographed with convicted felon Ritchie “The Fixer” Perry. Ritche was convicted in 1973 and 1984 for a point shaving scandal.

Richie the Fixer

Richie the Fixer

The man they called the “Fixer” got his nickname because he was twice convicted for taking part in mob-backed sports fixes. In 1973 related to manipulating the outcomes of (horse) harness races in New York and then in 1984 related to the Boston College men’s basketball point-shaving scandal (nine games altered in the 1978-79 season).

UNLV Rebels’ star players: Moses Scurry, Perry, Anderson Hunt and David Butler were part of a team that beat Duke by 30 (103-73) in the 1990 NCAA national title game .

The photos and scrutiny led to Tark’s resignation after 19 seasons, and appeared at a time when Nevada officials were considering black booking Perry, which would have banned him from all casinos.

Perry was convicted in 1997 of bookmaking and tax evasion in a federal case out of New York.

Side note: Perry’s attorney was Oscar Goodman, Oscar later became the Mayor of Las Vegas.

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On This Date: May 22, 1943 Little Church of the West’s First Wedding

May 22, 2017

Little Church of the WestOn This date was May 22, 1943, this first wedding at the Little Church of the West took place.

Captain George N. Calvert of the fourth armored division of the United States army and Miss Helen Gates of Hollywood, California came to Las Vegas for a quiet wedding. Because of gasoline rationing and restrictions on other travel, their friends and family were unable to make the trip here for their ceremony. The Last Frontier Hotel, site of the Little Church Of The West, made all of the arrangements for this landmark wedding, including the guests. There were 100 guests in western and pioneer costumes attending the ceremony. Roy Rogers and radio star Chester Lauck were the ushers.

The Little Church of the West opened its doors in 1942 on what would become The Strip. The chapel was originally built as part of the Hotel Last Frontier complex on the Las Vegas Strip. The chapel was moved from the north side of the hotel to the south side in 1954. In 1979, to make way for the Fashion Show Mall, the chapel was moved onto the grounds of the Hacienda. In 1996, when the Hacienda was closed and demolished, the chapel moved again to its current location on the east side of the strip south of the Mandalay Bay.

The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 14, 1992.

Photo By: Larry D. Moore

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On This Date May 14, 2015 Blues Legend and Las Vegas Local B.B. King passes away

May 14, 2017
B.B King in 2009

B.B King in 2009 Photo by: Tom Beetz

On this date May 14, 2015, B.B. King passed away in Las Vegas. Born, Riley Ben King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015), but known by his stage name B.B. King, was an American Hall of Fame blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. also,King had been a long time Las Vegas resident since 1975.

His biggest hit was “The Thrill Is Gone,” which won him the first of 15 Grammy awards. King was also known for performing tirelessly throughout his musical career, appearing at more than 200 concerts per year on average into his 70s.  His famous guitar was named  Lucille which was a Gibson ES-355 “Lucille”.  B.B King was 89.

Photo by: Tom Beetz –

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On This Date: May 6, 1950 Benny Binion opened the Westerner Saloon in Downtown Las Vegas

May 6, 2017
Photograph of the Westerner Gambling House (Las Vegas), circa 1950s

Photograph of the Westerner Gambling House (Las Vegas), circa 1950s

Before the famous Horseshoe, Legendary Texas gambler Benny Binion opened the Westerner Saloon & Gambling House at the location of the former Las Vegas Club, on May 6, 1950. The Westerner Saloon was located next to the Pioneer Club where the famous Vegas Vic neon sign still stands. Minion, then sold the Westerner Saloon in less than a year to buy the Eldorado Club and Apache Hotel where he opened the Horseshoe Club.

The Westerner Saloon & Gambling House had other owners until 1960 when it became Club Bingo.

The Westerner 21-23 Fremont St. Opened 1950 – Closed 1960

Photo by: UNLV Digital Collections

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On This Date: May 5, 1931, The Pair-O-Dice Nite Club was issued a Gaming License.

May 5, 2017
Pair-O-Dice Nite Club Las Vegas

Photograph of the exterior front and side of the Pair-O-Dice Club (Las Vegas), 1930s

The Pair O’ Dice Nite Club, sits aside Highway 91 in this 1930s photo. The Pair O’ Dice was the first nightclub on the Las Vegas Strip. Its main attraction was gambling before gambling was even legal in Nevada.

On May 5, 1931, the county issued the Pair-O-Dice’s manager, Oscar E. Klawitter, a license to run a roulette table, a craps table, and a blackjack table. Weeks later, the club was opened to the public. Following the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the county permitted the club to serve beer.

The property was bought and turned into the 91 Club in 1939, which itself was rebuilt as the Last Frontier in 1942.

Photo by: UNLV Digital Collection

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