On This Day In History — May 15

In 1905, Las Vegas, Nevada was founded as a railroad town, marking the beginning of its development into the bustling city we know today. The establishment of Las Vegas was closely tied to the expansion of the Union Pacific Railroad, which sought to create a stop along its Los Angeles and Salt Lake City route.

The official founding of Las Vegas occurred on May 15, 1905, with a significant event known as the land auction. The Union Pacific Railroad held the auction to sell off lots of land in the newly designated townsite. The auction attracted a diverse range of buyers, including speculators, investors, and settlers looking for opportunities in the growing area.

The townsite initially covered an area of 110 acres, situated in what is now the downtown area of Las Vegas. The auctioned land parcels were sold at varying prices, reflecting the desirability and potential of different locations within the townsite.

With the establishment of Las Vegas as a railroad town, the construction of essential infrastructure followed. Buildings, streets, and utilities were developed to accommodate the growing population and provide necessary services. The presence of the railroad brought increased accessibility and connected Las Vegas to regional and national markets, contributing to its economic growth.

Over the years, Las Vegas evolved from a railroad town into a center for entertainment, tourism, and gambling. The development of the famous Las Vegas Strip and the legalization of gambling in the state of Nevada further solidified its reputation as a premier destination for entertainment and gaming.

Today, Las Vegas is known for its vibrant nightlife, world-class resorts and casinos, live performances, and a wide range of entertainment options. The city continues to attract millions of visitors from around the globe who come to experience the unique atmosphere and offerings that have made Las Vegas a renowned international destination.


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Post originally appeared on History Leap.