We might be stating the obvious here. But it’s clear that Las Vegas has historically been a popular location for bachelor (and bachelorette) parties. And that tradition is still the case until this very day. In this photo, we can see a group of friends in a middle of a bachelor weekend, and the hotel they were staying at.
But specifically, these guys were celebrating their friend’s imminent wedding with a fun game of water polo in the hotel’s pool. However, they decided to put a little twist on the game, using a giant beach ball. They stayed at the famous Hotel Flamingo.
Showgirl Golf Tournament
One never knew what to expect in Las Vegas in the 1950s. A place where celebrities, dancers, mobsters, and newly-married couples mingled under the Nevada night sky. And of course, there were the showgirls – the pinnacle of wild and “exotic” Vegas entertainment.
This one’s a rare picture of the girls without their elaborate costumes and regalia. Joy Skylar (left) and Florence Walters (right) seem to be enjoying some downtime as they get some practice in for a special showgirl golf tournament. The 1953 tournament featured 14 showgirls from seven different resort hotels in Vegas who competed at the Desert Inn Country Club.
The Golden Nugget
The Golden Nugget on Freemont Street was one of the hottest spots in Sin City. Built in 1946 by Guy MacAfee, it was the best and biggest gambling house in town bar none! McAfee soon became the most recognizable and feared hotshot in Las Vegas. The man reportedly spent more than $1 million to open the Golden Nugget casino on August 30.
What’s more, McAfee (a former cop) earned a reputation for doing anything for business, including breaking bread with the same brothels, mobs, and bootleggers he was otherwise tasked with shutting down! Real estate mogul Steve Wynn bought a share in the Nugget, by 1973 he was the main stakeholder and the youngest casino owner in the city.
Vintage Travel Poster
Post-war America was brimming with possibility, and glamorous travel was high on everyone’s list. Posters and print ads were popular since the late 1800s but they really took off after the war and well into the 1970s. Las Vegas was a sought-after destination – where the sun shone bright, gambling was legal, wine flowed freely, and the nights were meant to be wild and free.
This America Vintage 1950s Travel Poster offers a window into the Vegas appeal and the glamour that came to define tourism during the period. Many of these posters – especially the works of poster artist David Klein – helped create the jet-setting lifestyle.
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.