Las Vegas is one of the more curious spots on our planet that resembles more a theme park than an actual city. It bears too many nicknames to count, and throughout the last sixty-odd years, it has been home to many wild occurrences. Below we list ten crazy ones.
Atomic Bomb Spectacles
After WW II, the US slowly got locked into a Cold War with the Soviet Union, and the two launched into a nuclear arms race. In 1951, the US government chose a 680 square mile section of land 65 miles north of Vegas as a nuclear testing site. For years, residents and tourists would drive up to the Nevada Proving Ground to witness over a thousand powerful blasts while hosting atomic bomb parties.
The Sahara’s Roof Catches on Fire
The Sahara is one of the oldest casinos on the Vegas Strip. In 1964, a crew installing a sprinkler system on the venue’s roof inadvertently set it on fire. It took thousands of gallons to put out this blaze, with water soaking through to the gaming area and the casino’s showroom, proving that sometimes it’s safer to play online casinos, as you never know what can happen at a brick-and-mortar locale.
Elvis Opens His Vegas Journey at The International
The Westgate Resort and Casino opened its doors in 1969, as the International. In July of that year, Elvis performed his first show at this venue, which would mark the start of a legendary seven-year run, encompassing 636 sold-out concerts. Vegas would play a pivotal role in the King’s career, and he would set the stage for the city to become the world’s Entertainment Capital. His first unforgettable performance at the International is one for the history books.
Evel Knievel Jumps the Caesars Palace Fountain
In all honesty, the title of this sub-heading should be – attempts to jump Caesar’s fountain, as Knievel’s landing was anything but smooth. Knievel fell off his bike and skidded on the pavement due to a sudden loss of power on landing. The 141-foot jump happened on December 31st of 1967, and it caused the famous daredevil to go into a 29-day coma.
Roy Gets Attacked by a Tiger
The duo of German-American magicians known to the world as Siegfried and Roy were a Vegas mainstay for over two decades. That all changed in October of 2003, when, while performing at the Mirage, Montecore, a seven-year-old white tiger attacked Roy Horn, severely damaging his spine. The event ended this duo’s performance career and is still widely talked about today.
Richard Branson’s Pants Split During Bungee Jump
In 2007, billionaire Richard Branson decided to perform a stunt in Las Vegas to promote his new airline, Virgin America. It involved him bungee jumping from the 407-feet-tall roof of the Palms casino and throwing airplane tickets into the air. However, his demeanor turned from confident to embarrassed quickly, as, during the stunt, a gust of wind forced him to hit his bottom on the side of the Palms, causing his pants to rip.
Tyson Bites Holyfield’s Ear Off
In late 1996, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield squared off at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in a long-awaited showdown. The fight proved to be an unexpectedly one-sided affair, with Holyfield dominating it en route to a TKO win in the eleventh round. Seven months later, the two contestants faced off in a rematch in the same venue. In the third round of that fight, Tyson had had enough of his combatant’s alleged head-butts and issued a dose of payback by biting a chunk of Holyfield’s ear off, earning himself a DQ loss.
Casino Robber Turns Herself In
Heather Tallchief was an armor car driver in Las Vegas who, on the morning of October 1st, 1993, drove away with $3 million in cash, never to be seen again. That is, until 12 years later, when she turned herself over to authorities. Tallchief claimed that she had been coerced into the robbery by her boyfriend Roberto Solis, who brainwashed her into executing his plan.
Vegas Opens a Mob Museum
Located on 300 E Stewart Avenue, the Mob Museum is one of the most underrated attractions in Vegas. It opened on February 14th, 2012, and features artifacts and detailed exhibits of the history of organized crime in the US. The former Las Vegas Post Office houses this attraction, which features a fully operational speakeasy and a distillery in its basement.
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Boxing Match Finally Happens
In May of 2015, the MGM Grand Garden Arena hosted one of the most anticipated combat sports events in history. Though many experts believe that this fight should have happened in 2009, it took six years for things to fit into place. Once these two fighters agreed to step into the squared circle, every hotel in Vegas immediately sold out for fight-night. The event generated 4.6 million PPV buys, a massive milestone for the PPV industry.
About the Author
Shelly Schiff has been working in the gambling industry since 2009, mainly on the digital side of things, employed by OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos.com. However, over her eleven-year career, Shelly has provided content for many other top interactive gaming websites. She knows all there is to know about slots and has in-depth knowledge of the most popular table games. Her golden retriever Garry occupies most of her leisure time. Though, when she can, she loves reading Jim Thompson-like crime novels.