Our fall road trip concluded with a few days in Las Vegas. We’ve been to Las Vegas lots of times but still found some new things to do.
We stayed downtown (instead of on the strip) to have easy access to the Fremont Street Experience. We walked through the five block covered extravaganza several times enjoying the lights and zip-lines overhead. There were interesting artisans and musicians during the day but the place got pretty seedy later in the evening.
Our downtown hotel was across the street from The Mob Museum. We spent a few hours exploring but could have spent many more. Another visit is certainly warranted. The museum documented, with exhibits and video, the rise of Organized Crime through prohibition and beyond. Organized crime infiltrated Hollywood, Sports, Racing, Gambling and Drugs. Police and politicians were bought and paid for in cities across the land.
Huge skimming operations occurred at both the Stardust and the Tropicana in Las Vegas.
American awareness of organized crime was raised through the Kefauver Hearings in 1950 and 1951. Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver led the Senate Investigation on organized crime and held hearings in 14 cities across the United States. They were broadcast into people’s homes by a new medium called television.
Today the old Las Vegas courthouse is The Mob Museum. A very effective multi-media presentation about the hearing is available in the very room in which it was held.
After Americans became aware that organized crime had infiltrated their lives in previously unknown ways, the tide began to turn. Efforts to root out corruption took hold and the battle waged.
In tribute to Speakeasies, common during prohibition, the Mob Museum has its own in the basement.
We enjoyed a couple of drinks.
Also new, we went to a Rod Stewart Concert!
It was very good!