Vegas brings out the happy in everyone but actor Kim Novak looks especially elated at the Sands hotel in Las Vegas. So, what exactly is happening here? The camera captured the exact moment when Novak yelled “You Win!” after placing a bet on a roulette wheel for Betty Craig, columnist for the Denver Post.
The winning bet was a No. 5. which Craig placed over the telephone. The columnist heard Novak’s excited cry over the phone, as she patiently waited while the wheel spun. Her winnings were an impressive $175, all of which went to the National Crippled Children’s Society.
Noel Coward looks handsome and dapper with the Nevada desert in the background. The image was taken in 1955 when Coward arrived in Las Vegas for his first American nightclub appearance. The British star had made quite a name for himself by then.
He was the veritable English gentleman – articulate, well-dressed, usually spotted with a cigar in one hand and witty one-liners on the ready. Coward was famous for his comedic acts comprising songs and delightful banter. He was also known for plays like “Private Lives,” “Blithe Spirit,” and “Hay Fever.” No surprise that the man had legions of fans and earned the nickname “The Master” in his lifetime.
Horse Race Betting Shops
America has had a tumultuous history with gambling and the social ills associated with it. We’ve seen numerous lottery scandals and frauds over the years. And who can forget the infamous Black Sox scandal in 1919? But horse racing (and betting on races) goes way back and has mostly remained legal across the United States.
Each state has its own regulations. Horse race betting remained popular even when Nevada legalized sports betting in 1949. It was common to find people flocking to one of the betting shops on the Strip. Many enjoyed the old-fashioned thrill of horse race betting while others needed a break from losses at the craps table.
The Moulin Rouge
Built in 1955, The Moulin Rouge was the first integrated hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Before that, African Americans were denied entry unless they were staff or entertainers. The Moulin Rouge opened during a civil rights struggle in Las Vegas. The city’s Black residents sought equal rights to dine and stay in Strip hotels, challenging the city's segregation.
Led by investor Will Max Schwartz, the Moulin Rouge had boxer Joe Louis as its spokesperson and co-owner. It quickly became a hub for both black and white guests, including celebrities like Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, as it was the only place in racially divided Las Vegas where entertainers of all races could socialize. The Moulin Rouge paved the way for more integrated establishments across the city and even the country.
Mickey Rooney and Martha Vickers
Mickey Rooney’s love for Las Vegas is well-known. The entertainer dedicated most of his life to the colorful lifestyle and excess in Sin City. He loved the parties, the gambling, and the alcohol - all of which would eventually ruin him. Rooney also loved the ladies.
He married eight in his lifetime (each one a Vegas chapel wedding) including Martha Vickers pictured here, looking very displeased at what’s about to happen to her. Rooney never found lasting love and by the end of his life, his luck overall had run out. He became bankrupt. But when he performed his signature act under the bright lights of many Vegas stages, Rooney was a legend.