Las Vegas, Nevada

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  • Those who think of Las Vegas as “Sin City” may fail to realize that, as a small town that has grown into a big city while relying mainly on one industry, it has a political history that is both typically and atypically western and urban. Las Vegas never was a company town but always has verged on it. Sen. William Clark, D-Mont., and the Union Pacific built a railroad from Los Angeles to Salt Lake and auctioned off the Las Vegas town site on May 15, 1905. The railroad's repair shops were the main employer; the downtown area near the depot catered to travelers with hotels, restaurants, and a nearby red-light district; and a railroad subsidiary managed the dominant utility, which was the water ...

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