Las Vegas is the largest American city born in the 20th Century, and its origin centered on the need for water. In 1902 Senator William Clark was intent on building a railroad between the Pacific Ocean and the Great Salt Lake. He needed water to keep the steam locomotives running through the desert and the Las Vegas area had artesian wells.
The next big event to push Las Vegas toward its glittering present was President Hoover’s successful effort to harness the Colorado River. This engineering marvel was accomplished during the early 1930’s and is still considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
Gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931, but not until after World War II did the place start jumping.
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