Desert Companion
 
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SEPTEMBER 2014
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Take 5
Through Sep. 1, 11a and 1p. The real animals in Vegas come out at night. Some are freaky, some are sneaky and some are downright creepy....   
Through Sep. 1, 10a-6p. Eighteen holes of serious indoor fun. Explore a tropical rainforest, navigate a polluted waterway and learn how to make a...   
Sep. 3, 7:30p. Professor of History Eugene Moehring will analyze the development of Reno and Las Vegas since 1945, with special emphasis on the...   
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When LIFE magazine published its Vegas report card on its 50th birthday, it featured photos that captured the breadth of life in the city -- from the action at the tables to scenes behind the stage curtain. But it didn't publish them all. Now the magazine is sharing a few more.

In 1955, 50 years after Las Vegas was founded, LIFE magazine took a rather skeptical look at the boomtown and its prospects for growth in a cover story titled “Gambling Town Pushes Its Luck.” The Loomis Dean images in this gallery, meanwhile — many of which were never published in LIFE — provide some wonderful visual reminders of just how raw a place Las Vegas was in the mid-’50s, before the Rat Pack made the city its home away from home and decades before it would begin to reinvent itself as a family-friendly mecca.

 



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