It might seem incredible, but the origins of the city of Las Vegas were really humble. The first inhabitants were a group of explorers that discovered a fresh water spring – that still exists – in the middle of the arid desert of the south of the State of Nevada when they were looking to supply the railway that joined the cities of Salt Lake and San Pedro.
That train was the link between two very important cities – Salt Lake City and San Pedro – for west North America at the beginning of the XX century.
From Salt Lake City, capital of the neighbor state of Utah, came – and still does – large quantities of mineral products.
San Pedro is a small city, almost unknown today, where the docks of the second most populated metropolitan area of the United States are located: Los Angeles, in the state of California.
After a short period when Las Vegas was only a stop where the railway found water supply, the inha
decided to set up and organize a city at the beginning of the year 1905. That same year there was a land auction – a traditional practice those days – and most of it was acquired by the company that today is the giant North American railway conglomerate, Union Pacific.
The state of Nevada was founded during the North American civil war. The north had large quantities of silver. The Union political forces decided that it was extremely important that said precious metal was kept in the federal coffers protected from the confederate troops. The production of these silver yards – one of the richest in the world – began to decrease during the first decade of the XX century, which brought an economic crisis of great magnitude to the small state of Nevada.
In 1931 the state legislature decided to pass a law authorizing gaming throughout the state to encourage the economy. This measure generated great economic growth, though those legislators could never have imagined the development it would bring to the city in the second half of the XX century.
Another important legislative innovation passed in the state of Nevada was to offer couples a faster divorce than anywhere else in the country to anyone that requested it.