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Random Access Memory: September

Droll, odd, poignant, and awkward moments from the many Septembers of Las Vegas history

September 1, 1930: 1,576 students enroll in Las Vegas schools, a 30 percent increase from the previous year, as four new teachers are hired to help “with the crowded conditions.”

September 2, 1946: Frank Waters, 38, son of a prominent local family, is shot and killed by his “Irish war bride,” Bridget Waters, 26, in front of their infant son, at 130 Palm Lane. She quickly becomes the international face of countless war brides abandoned by their American husbands.

September 3, 1921: This past week, in a tragedy of unrequited love, pipefitter Esteban Torres, 29, “while visiting his inamorata, one Josephine Young, an inmate (prostitute) at the Arizona Club, placed a revolver in his mouth sending one or two bullets through his head.”

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September 4, 1933: After Coroner Frank Ryan rules that Marie Lambertson, 72, recently died in a head-on collision on Boulder Highway because the road lacks a white dividing line, he recommends one be painted down the middle of the road. 

September 5, 1924: Will Waterson is sentenced to 10 years in the state prison for incest, and “his wife and little children” move to Carson City to be near him during his time there.

September 6, 1952: Polio cases in Clark County approach 100 during the worst epidemic in U.S. history.

September 7, 1996: At the MGM, Mike Tyson knocks out Bruce Seldon in their WBA title bout. Following the match, rapper Tupac Shakur is shot multiple times on Flamingo Avenue.

September 8, 1996: Playing at area theaters are Bulletproof, with Damon Wayans, and A Time to Kill, with Sandra Bullock.

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September 9, 1908: It’s reported that recently, socialist presidential candidate Eugene Debs, greeted by a big crowd at the train depot, said: “There is no difference between the Republican and Democratic parties. Republicans have all the big capitalists, and Democrats all the little capitalists. It don’t make any difference to you whether you are eaten by the alligator or by 10,000 mosquitoes.”

September 10, 1975: The Taxicab Authority has okayed installing “robber-proof cameras” in three experimental cabs for 30 days to see if they work as crime deterrents.

September 11, 1993: Cabbie Joe Carara, 43, has become the 12th cabdriver killed on the job in 25 years when he is shot after picking up a fare at The Mirage. 

September 12, 1933: The government reports that 63 million pounds of cement were used on the Boulder Dam project in August.

September 13, 1996: Tupac Shakur dies on Friday the 13th at the University Medical Center, six days after being shot near the Strip. 

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September 14, 1937: Quail shooting has been observed in North Las Vegas at night, but the season doesn’t open until October 20, and “under no circumstances are hunters to operate after sundown.”

September 15, 1921: Lions Club members are “growling” after their booth at the Community Fair “to raise funds for crippled children” is shut down by police for abusing goldfish, as patrons try tossing ping pong balls into fishbowls to win a fish.

September 16, 2003: After three killings within 24 hours near UNLV’s campus, officials declare that the university “is located in a high crime area.”

September 17, 1969: Psychiatrist Jack Jurasky cites timing, temperature, and temperament as factors in the city’s high murder rate.

September 18, 1996: Running against Bill Clinton, Republican presidential candidate Robert Dole jokingly remarks he has come here to campaign for “Nevada’s four big electoral votes.”

September 19, 1955: The Marx Brothers are appearing at the Riviera Hotel.

September 20, 1949: Stanley Meluski confesses to having staged his own beating and robbery to hide gambling losses “from his attractive brunette wife and small child.”

September 21, 1949: To eliminate the smog problem caused by burning garbage, the Nevada Sanitation Co. proposes putting a dump far away, near Sunrise Mountain, to relieve downtown “of the pungent fumes from the present dump.”

September 22, 1912: Three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, “the great commoner,” is greeted by “an immense crowd” at the train depot.

September 23, 1996: Wal-Mart bans Sheryl Crow’s latest album for its lyrics: “Watch our children kill each other with a gun bought at Wal-Mart.”

September 24, 1930: The local Chamber of Commerce has blocked “determined efforts to change the name of Las Vegas to Hoover City.”

September 25, 2010: Saying “divorce was profitable for Elaine Wynn,” the Review-Journal reports that she has landed in the 382nd spot on the Forbes list of 400 wealthiest Americans following her latest split from two-time hubby Steve Wynn.

September 26, 1914: A “visitor from up north,” Hattie Garren, suffering from hallucinations that spirits are following her to kill her, is taken into custody by Sheriff Sam Gay, who turns her over to “the lunacy commission” for an examination.

September 27, 1908: The new ice plant, with a $300,000 price tag, built after the previous one was destroyed by fire, will produce 100 tons of ice daily for the trains passing through town.

September 28, 1963: President John F. Kennedy delivers “an ad-lib 10-minute speech on land conservation” to 7,500 people at the Convention Center.

September 29, 1928: Tourist Amelia Earhart says she would like to make Las Vegas her home someday.

September 30, 1963: After a motorcycle officer pulls him over for driving down the wrong side of Boulder Highway, a 94-year-old driver says that he thought maybe something was wrong when he noticed cars veering out of the way.