National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States federal government's official list of districts, buildings and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property; the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966 established the National Register and the process for adding properties to it. Of the more than one million properties on the National Register, 80,000 are listed individually; the remainder are contributing resources within historic districts. For most of its history the National Register has been administered by the National Park Service, an agency within the United States Department of the Interior, its goals are to help property owners and interest groups, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, coordinate and protect historic sites in the United States.
While National Register listings are symbolic, their recognition of significance provides some financial incentive to owners of listed properties. Protection of the property is not guaranteed. During the nomination process, the property is evaluated in terms of the four criteria for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places; the application of those criteria has been the subject of criticism by academics of history and preservation, as well as the public and politicians. Historic sites outside the country proper, but associated with the United States are listed. Properties can be nominated in a variety of forms, including individual properties, historic districts, multiple property submissions; the Register categorizes general listings into one of five types of properties: district, structure, building, or object. National Register Historic Districts are defined geographical areas consisting of contributing and non-contributing properties; some properties are added automatically to the National Register when they become administered by the National Park Service.
These include National Historic Landmarks, National Historic Sites, National Historical Parks, National Military Parks, National Memorials, some National Monuments. On October 15, 1966, the Historic Preservation Act created the National Register of Historic Places and the corresponding State Historic Preservation Offices; the National Register consisted of the National Historic Landmarks designated before the Register's creation, as well as any other historic sites in the National Park system. Approval of the act, amended in 1980 and 1992, represented the first time the United States had a broad-based historic preservation policy; the 1966 act required those agencies to work in conjunction with the SHPO and an independent federal agency, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, to confront adverse effects of federal activities on historic preservation. To administer the newly created National Register of Historic Places, the National Park Service of the U. S. Department of the Interior, with director George B.
Hartzog Jr. established an administrative division named the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation. Hartzog charged OAHP with creating the National Register program mandated by the 1966 law. Ernest Connally was the Office's first director. Within OAHP new divisions were created to deal with the National Register; the division administered several existing programs, including the Historic Sites Survey and the Historic American Buildings Survey, as well as the new National Register and Historic Preservation Fund. The first official Keeper of the Register was an architectural historian. During the Register's earliest years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, organization was lax and SHPOs were small and underfunded. However, funds were still being supplied for the Historic Preservation Fund to provide matching grants-in-aid to listed property owners, first for house museums and institutional buildings, but for commercial structures as well. A few years in 1979, the NPS history programs affiliated with both the U.
S. National Parks system and the National Register were categorized formally into two "Assistant Directorates." Established were the Assistant Directorate for Archeology and Historic Preservation and the Assistant Directorate for Park Historic Preservation. From 1978 until 1981, the main agency for the National Register was the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service of the United States Department of the Interior. In February 1983, the two assistant directorates were merged to promote efficiency and recognize the interdependency of their programs. Jerry L. Rogers was selected to direct this newly merged associate directorate, he was described as a skilled administrator, sensitive to the need for the NPS to work with SHPOs, local governments. Although not described in detail in the 1966 act, SHPOs became integral to the process of listing properties on the National Register; the 1980 amendments of the 1966 law further defined the responsibilities of SHPOs concerning the National Register.
Several 1992 amendments of the NHPA added a category to the National Register, known as Traditional Cultural Properties: those properties associated with Native American or Hawaiian groups
Fremont Street is a street in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada, among the most famous streets in the Las Vegas Valley besides the Las Vegas Strip. Named in honor of explorer John Charles Frémont and located in the heart of the downtown casino corridor, Fremont Street is or was the address for many famous casinos such as Binion's Horseshoe, Eldorado Club, Fremont Hotel and Casino, Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, Golden Nugget, Four Queens, The Mint, the Pioneer Club. Prior to the construction of the Fremont Street Experience, the western end of Fremont Street was the representative scene for Las Vegas, included in every television show and movie that wanted to depict the glittery lights of Las Vegas; the abundance of neon signs, like cowboy Vegas Vic, earned the street the nickname of "Glitter Gulch". Fremont Street is designated between Main Street and Sahara Avenue in a northwest–southeast direction, although auto traffic begins at Las Vegas Boulevard. At Sahara, it continues as Boulder Highway. Fremont Street carried several national highways, including U.
S. Route 93, US 95, US 466. US 93 and US 95 have been rerouted along Interstate 515; the section of Fremont Street east of the Fremont East District is designated Nevada State Route 582. Although prostitution has been illegal in Clark County since 1971, the street has a reputation for prostitution. Fremont Street dates back to 1905. Fremont Street was the first paved street in Las Vegas in 1925 and received the city's first traffic light in 1931. Fremont Street carried the shields of U. S. Route 93, US 95, US 466 before the construction of the interstates. While gambling was well established prior to being legalized, the Northern Club in 1931 received one of the first 6 gambling licenses issued in Nevada and the first one for Fremont Street. Glitter Gulch was closed to vehicle traffic in September, 1994 to begin construction on the Fremont Street Experience; the 1964 Elvis Presley film Viva Las Vegas featured nighttime footage of Fremont Street during the opening credits. The 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever featured a chase scene in which James Bond, running from Las Vegas police, side-rolls a car through an alley exiting onto Fremont Street.
The 1987 music video for the song "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2 was filmed on Fremont Street and featured the band members wandering around, while The Edge played an acoustic guitar. In the 1987 anthology film, one of the segments involves two young lovers driving down Fremont Street before attempting suicide; the second season of the NBC show "Crime Story" featured Fremont Street in its opening credits, nearly all the action took place there, as opposed to the Strip. 1998's Very Bad Things featured Fremont Street in the movie. 1992's Honey, I Blew Up the Kid prominently featured Fremont Street in the movie. 1992's Cool World showed all the animation coming out of the Union Plaza Hotel and going down Fremont Street. In 1994, Glitter Gulch was featured prominently in the TV Miniseries The Stand; the 1997 comedy Vegas Vacation includes a few scenes on Fremont Street. The Flaming Lips filmed part of their video for Do You Realize?? in Fremont Street In the 2004 movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Steve the Pirate is seen along the Plaza near the Fremont Street Experience.
In a 2005 release, Panic! at the Disco released a song about Fremont Street called "Build God, Then We'll Talk". Fremont Street appears in the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as "The Old Las Venturas Strip"; the 2007 film Next, has Nicolas Cage's character entering the Golden Nugget from the Fremont Street Experience. Ice Cube's music video for Chrome and Paint took place on Fremont Street, with Ice Cube in a lowrider. In Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas, Logan Keller, his teammates Jung, Michael infiltrate Fremont Street to find a news van, which they find by going through the maintenance tunnels under the Sirocco Casino, the game's version of the Binion Hotel and Gambling Hall. Referenced in the Tom Waits song "Mr. Siegal". Featured at the beginning of the TV series - CSI season 7 finale episode 24. Featured in the opening credits of the TV series Vega$. Magician & illusionist, Criss Angel, has done many demonstrations there. Featured in The Real World: Las Vegas. Several cast members ziplined across the Fremont Street Experience in an episode.
The area is featured in the 2013 comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, when a street magician performs his magic tricks before two of the main characters, played by Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi. Fremont Street is featured intermittently throughout the 2013 comedy Last Vegas, starting with the main quartet arriving at Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel. A destroyed Fremont Street is featured in Fallout: New Vegas; the area is a slum. In 2002 the city of Las Vegas created the Fremont East Entertainment District, an entertainment district in the heart of downtown Las Vegas. In 2004 the city announced plans to redevelop a three block section of Fremont Street east of the Fremont Street Experience as an arts and entertainment area within FEED; the $5.5 million streetscape improvement project was a public private partnership with 50% paid by landlords via new businesses and 50% paid with tax dollars as part of a plans to revitalize Downtown Las Vegas. The area was redesigned to increase the draw to downtown, with a compact entertainment area of bars and clubs.
The three-block renovation included pedestrian-friendly street redesign and retro-looking new neon signage
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
J. Edgar Hoover
John Edgar Hoover was the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States and an American law enforcement administrator. He was appointed as the director of the Bureau of Investigation – the FBI's predecessor – in 1924 and was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director for another 37 years until his death in 1972 at the age of 77. Hoover has been credited with building the FBI into a larger crime-fighting agency than it was at its inception and with instituting a number of modernizations to police technology, such as a centralized fingerprint file and forensic laboratories. In life and after his death, Hoover became a controversial figure as evidence of his secretive abuses of power began to surface, he was found to have exceeded the jurisdiction of the FBI, to have used the FBI to harass political dissenters and activists, to amass secret files on political leaders, to collect evidence using illegal methods. Hoover amassed a great deal of power and was in a position to intimidate and threaten others sitting presidents of the United States.
John Edgar Hoover was born on New Year's Day 1895 in Washington, D. C. to Anna Marie, of Swiss-German descent, Dickerson Naylor Hoover Sr. chief of the printing division of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey a plate maker for the same organization. Dickerson Hoover was of German ancestry. Hoover's maternal great-uncle, John Hitz, was a Swiss honorary consul general to the United States. Among his family, he was the closest to his mother, their moral guide and disciplinarian. Hoover was born in a house on the present site of Capitol Hill United Methodist Church, located on Seward Square near Eastern Market in Washington's Capitol Hill neighborhood. A stained glass window in the church is dedicated to him. Hoover did not have a birth certificate filed upon his birth, although it was required in 1895 in Washington. Two of his siblings did have certificates, but Hoover's was not filed until 1938 when he was 43. Hoover lived in Washington, D. C. his entire life. He attended Central High School, where he sang in the school choir, participated in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps program, competed on the debate team.
During debates, he argued against women getting the right to vote and against the abolition of the death penalty. The school newspaper applauded his "cool, relentless logic." Hoover stuttered as a boy, which he overcame by teaching himself to talk quickly—a style that he carried through his adult career. He spoke with such ferocious speed that stenographers had a hard time following him. Hoover was 18 years old when he accepted his first job, an entry-level position as messenger in the orders department, at the Library of Congress; the library was a half mile from his house. The experience shaped the creation of the FBI profiles, it gave me an excellent foundation for my work in the FBI where it has been necessary to collate information and evidence."Hoover obtained a Bachelor of Laws from The George Washington University Law School in 1916, where he was a member of the Alpha Nu Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order, an LL. M. in 1917 from the same university. While a law student, Hoover became interested in the career of Anthony Comstock, the New York City U.
S. Postal Inspector, who waged prolonged campaigns against fraud, vice and birth control. After getting his LL. M. degree, Hoover was hired by the Justice Department to work in the War Emergency Division. He accepted the clerkship on July 1917, when he was just 22 years old; the job was exempt from the draft. In 1920, Edgar Hoover was initiated at D. C.'s Federal Lodge No. 1 in Washington D. C. becoming a Master Mason by age 25 and a 33rd Degree Inspector General Honorary in 1955. He soon became the head of the Division's Alien Enemy Bureau, authorized by President Woodrow Wilson at the beginning of World War I to arrest and jail disloyal foreigners without trial, he received additional authority from the 1917 Espionage Act. Out of a list of 1,400 suspicious Germans living in the U. S. the Bureau designated 1,172 as arrestable. In August 1919, the 24-year-old Hoover became head of the Bureau of Investigation's new General Intelligence Division known as the Radical Division because its goal was to monitor and disrupt the work of domestic radicals.
America's First Red Scare was beginning, one of Hoover's first assignments was to carry out the Palmer Raids. Hoover and his chosen assistant, George Ruch, monitored a variety of U. S. radicals with the intent to punish, arrest, or deport those whose politics they decided were dangerous. Targets during this period included Marcus Garvey. In 1921, Hoover rose in the Bureau of Investigation to deputy head and, in 1924, the Attorney General made him the acting director. On May 10, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge appointed Hoover as the fifth Director of the Bureau of Investigation in response to allegations that the prior director, William J. Burns, was involved in the Teapot Dome scandal; when Hoover took over the Bureau of Investigation, it had 650 employees, including 441 Special Agents. Hoover banned the future hiring of them. Hoover was sometimes unpredictable in his leadership, he fired Bureau agents, singling out those he thought "looked stupid like truck drivers," o
El Cortez (Las Vegas)
El Cortez, a hotel and casino, is a small downtown Las Vegas gaming venue a block from the Fremont Street Experience and Las Vegas Boulevard. Slots, table games, a race and sports book occupy one floor of the main pavilion, it is one of the older casino-hotel properties in Las Vegas having continuously operated at the same Fremont Street location since 1941. Spanish Colonial Revival in style, it reflects a 1952 remodel when the façade was modernized. On February 22, 2013, the structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Marion Hicks and J. C. Grayson built El Cortez, downtown Las Vegas' first major resort, in 1941 for $245,000; the location at 6th Street and Fremont was considered too far from downtown, but it became so profitable that Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Gus Greenbaum and Moe Sedway bought the property in 1945 from J. Kel Houssels for $600,000. John Kell Houssels, Sr. had opened the 59-room hotel and casino before the sale to the major organized crime figures. Houssels purchased the hotel back from Siegel's group in 1946 for $766,000.
In 1963, the Pavilion Rooms were added. Another 15-story tower addition was completed in 1980; the 64-room Cabana Suites were completed in the former Ogden House in 2009, bringing the total room count to its current 364. Gaughan, a casino owner and operator since the early 1950s, lived in El Cortez's tower penthouse and was known to be on the casino floor daily; the property is one of the few casinos to have never changed its exterior façade in Las Vegas, retaining the same signage and ranch-themed architecture for over seventy years. Jackie Gaughan's son Michael Gaughan ran the sports and race book in the current casino under the name South Point Race and Sports Book during the late 2000s, but the sports book is now run by Station Casinos. El Cortez has undergone several renovations, with the latest major remodeling completed in 2006. New carpet, marble flooring, gaming machines, refurbished guest rooms and an upgraded kitchen for the restaurant were added. Although only a block away from the Fremont Street Experience, the hotel is part of the newly-created Fremont East section of downtown.
It has created a main entrance off Las Vegas Boulevard by opening a block-long pedestrian walkway from the boulevard to the hotel's main entrance on 6th Street. El Cortez is well known in the casino industry as the most prominent "break-in house" for new table-game dealers to get experience before moving onto bigger properties; the separate hotel in the back, the 100-room Ogden House, has been renovated into the 64-suite Cabana Suites. In 2008, Jackie Gaughan sold its properties to Kenny Epstein. Gaughan continued to live at the casino and still played poker in the poker room until his death on March 12, 2014. Media related to El Cortez at Wikimedia Commons Official website
Saint Valentine's Day Massacre
The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre was the 1929 Valentine's Day murder of seven members and associates of Chicago's North Side Gang. The men were gathered at a Lincoln Park garage on the morning of Valentine's Day, where they were lined up against a wall and shot by four unknown assailants who were dressed like police officers; the incident resulted from the struggle to control organized crime in the city during Prohibition between the Irish North Siders and their Italian South Side rivals led by Al Capone. The perpetrators have never been conclusively identified, but former members of the Egan's Rats gang working for Capone are suspected of a significant role, as are members of the Chicago Police Department who wanted revenge for the killing of a police officer's son. At 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 14, 1929, seven men were murdered at the garage at 2122 North Clark Street, in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago's North Side. They were shot by four men using weapons. Two of the shooters were dressed as uniformed policemen, while the others wore suits, ties and hats.
Witnesses saw the fake police leading the other men at gunpoint out of the garage after the shooting. The victims included five members of George "Bugs" Moran's North Side Gang. Moran's second in command and brother-in-law Albert Kachellek was killed along with Adam Heyer, the gang's bookkeeper and business manager, Albert Weinshank, who managed several cleaning and dyeing operations for Moran, gang enforcers Frank Gusenberg and Peter Gusenberg. Two collaborators were shot: Reinhardt H. Schwimmer, a former optician turned gambler and gang associate, John May, an occasional mechanic for the Moran gang. Real Chicago police officers arrived at the scene to find that victim Frank Gusenberg was still alive, he was taken to the hospital, where doctors stabilized him for a short time and police tried to question him. He had sustained 14 bullet wounds, he died three hours later. The massacre was planned by the organization led by Al Capone to eliminate Moran, the boss of the long-established North Side Gang.
Former North Side Gang boss Dean O'Banion had been murdered by four gunmen in his flower shop on North State Street in 1924, each successive leader of the North Siders was killed by various members or associates of the Capone organization. Several factors contributed to the timing of the plan to kill Moran. Earlier in the year, North Sider Frank Gusenberg and his brother Peter unsuccessfully attempted to murder Jack McGurn; the North Side Gang was complicit in the murders of Pasqualino "Patsy" Lolordo and Antonio "The Scourge" Lombardo. Both had been presidents of the Unione Siciliana, the local Mafia, close associates of Capone. Moran and Capone had been vying for control of the lucrative Chicago bootlegging trade. Moran had been muscling in on a Capone-run dog track in the Chicago suburbs, he had taken over several saloons that were run by Capone, insisting that they were in his territory; the plan was to lure Moran to the SMC Cartage warehouse on North Clark Street on February 14, 1929 to kill him and two or three of his lieutenants.
It is assumed that the North Siders were lured to the garage with the promise of a stolen, cut-rate shipment of whiskey, supplied by Detroit's Purple Gang, associated with Capone. The Gusenberg brothers were supposed to drive two empty trucks to Detroit that day to pick up two loads of stolen Canadian whiskey. All of the victims were dressed in their best clothes, with the exception of John May, as was customary for the North Siders and other gangsters at the time. Most of the Moran gang arrived at the warehouse by 10:30 a.m. on Valentine's Day, but Moran was not there, having left his Parkway Hotel apartment late. He and fellow gang member Ted Newberry approached the rear of the warehouse from a side street when they saw a police car approaching the building, they turned and retraced their steps, going to a nearby coffee shop. They encountered gang member Henry Gusenberg on the street and warned him, so he turned back. North Side Gang member Willie Marks spotted the police car on his way to the garage, he ducked into a doorway and jotted down the license number before leaving the neighborhood.
Capone's lookouts mistook one of Moran's men for Moran himself Albert Weinshank, the same height and build. The physical similarity between the two men was enhanced by their dress that morning. Witnesses outside the garage saw. Four men emerged and walked inside, two of them dressed in police uniform; the two fake police officers carried shotguns and entered the rear portion of the garage, where they found members of Moran's gang and collaborators Reinhart Schwimmer and John May, fixing one of the trucks. The fake policemen ordered the men to line up against the wall, they signaled to the pair in civilian clothes who had accompanied them. Two of the killers opened fire with Thompson sub-machine guns, one with a 20-round box magazine and the other a 50-round drum, they were thorough, spraying their victims left and right continuing to fire after all seven had hit the floor. Two shotgun blasts afterward all but obliterated the faces of John May and James Clark, according to the coroner's report. To give the appearance that everything was under control, the men in street clothes came out with their hands up, prodded by the two uniformed policemen.
Inside the garage, the only survivors in the warehouse were May's dog "Highball" and Frank Gusenberg—despite 14 bullet wou
Nevada is a state in the Western United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast and Utah to the east. Nevada is the 7th most extensive, the 32nd most populous, but the 9th least densely populated of the U. S. states. Nearly three-quarters of Nevada's people live in Clark County, which contains the Las Vegas–Paradise metropolitan area where three of the state's four largest incorporated cities are located. Nevada's capital, however, is Carson City. Nevada is known as the "Silver State" because of the importance of silver to its history and economy, it is known as the "Battle Born State", because it achieved statehood during the Civil War. Nevada is desert and semi-arid, much of it within the Great Basin. Areas south of the Great Basin are within the Mojave Desert, while Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada lie on the western edge. About 86% of the state's land is managed by various jurisdictions of the U. S. federal government, both civilian and military.
Before European contact, Native Americans of the Paiute and Washoe tribes inhabited the land, now Nevada. The first Europeans to explore the region were Spanish, they called the region Nevada because of the snow. The area formed part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, became part of Mexico when it gained independence in 1821; the United States annexed the area in 1848 after its victory in the Mexican–American War, it was incorporated as part of Utah Territory in 1850. The discovery of silver at the Comstock Lode in 1859 led to a population boom that became an impetus to the creation of Nevada Territory out of western Utah Territory in 1861. Nevada became the 36th state on October 31, 1864, as the second of two states added to the Union during the Civil War. Nevada has a reputation for its libertarian laws. In 1940, with a population of just over 110,000 people, Nevada was by far the least-populated state, with less than half the population of the next least-populated state. However, legalized gambling and lenient marriage and divorce laws transformed Nevada into a major tourist destination in the 20th century.
Nevada is the only U. S. state where prostitution is legal, though it is illegal in Clark County, Washoe County and Carson City. The tourism industry remains Nevada's largest employer, with mining continuing as a substantial sector of the economy: Nevada is the fourth-largest producer of gold in the world; the name "Nevada" comes from meaning "snow-covered", after the Sierra Nevada. Most Nevadans pronounce the second syllable of their state name using the TRAP vowel. Many from outside the Western United States pronounce it with the PALM vowel. Although the latter pronunciation is closer to the Spanish pronunciation, it is not the pronunciation preferred by most Nevadans. State Assemblyman Harry Mortenson proposed a bill to recognize the alternate pronunciation of Nevada, though the bill was not supported by most legislators and never received a vote; the Nevadan pronunciation is the de facto official one, since it is the one used by the state legislature. At one time, the state's official tourism organization, TravelNevada, stylized the name of the state as "Nevăda", with a breve mark over the a indicating the locally preferred pronunciation, available as a license plate design.
Nevada is entirely within the Basin and Range Province, is broken up by many north-south mountain ranges. Most of these ranges have endorheic valleys between them, which belies the image portrayed by the term Great Basin. Much of the northern part of the state is within the Great Basin, a mild desert that experiences hot temperatures in the summer and cold temperatures in the winter. Moisture from the Arizona Monsoon will cause summer thunderstorms; the state's highest recorded temperature was 125 °F in Laughlin on June 29, 1994. The coldest recorded temperature was −52 °F set in San Jacinto in 1972, in the northeastern portion of the state; the Humboldt River crosses the state from east to west across the northern part of the state, draining into the Humboldt Sink near Lovelock. Several rivers drain from the Sierra Nevada eastward, including the Walker and Carson rivers. All of these rivers are endorheic basins, ending in Walker Lake, Pyramid Lake, the Carson Sink, respectively. However, not all of Nevada is within the Great Basin.
Tributaries of the Snake River drain the far north, while the Colorado River, which forms much of the boundary with Arizona, drains much of southern Nevada. The mountain ranges, some of which have peaks above 13,000 feet, harbor lush forests high above desert plains, creating sky islands for endemic species; the valleys are no lower in elevation than 3,000 feet, while some in central Nevada are above 6,000 feet. The southern third of the state, where the Las Vegas area is situated, is within the Mojave Desert; the area is closer to the Arizona Monsoon in the summer. The terrain is lower below 4,000 feet, creating conditions for hot summer days and cool to chilly winter nights. Nevada and California have by far the longest diagonal line as a state boundary at just over 400 miles; this line begins in Lake Tahoe nearly