1940
THIS YEAR IN LAS VEGAS ...

WHILE IN THE WORLD ...

Squires Sells the ''Las Vegas Age''
Charles P. Squires sells his newspaper ''Las Vegas Age'' to Frank Garside.

The New Station
The original railroad station is replaced with a new one. The Union Pacific Station is located in a shaded park near the head of Fremont Street.

Bugsy Discovers Las Vegas
Benjamin Siegel, nicknamed ''Bugsy'', was originally a Brooklyn's gangster who made his way in California with bookmaking and gambling.
During one of his flights between New York and California, he stops in Las Vegas and decides to make ''business'' there, by imposing his partnership to casino owners.
He then purchases his own casino, the Frontier Club, located downtown.

Hitler starts the Blitzkrieg
Hitler aims at getting control of Scandinavian countries, important for their iron mines. On April 9, German troops attack simultaneously all major Norwegian harbors. Denmark, also attacked, will resist just a few hours. Sweden is forced to collaborate.
On May 10, Germany invades the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, although they had declared their neutrality. On May 12, German tanks start the invasion of France, passing through Belgium, and on June 14, Nazi troops enter Paris.
In the past years, French have built a fortified line, the Maginot line, running along the whole border between France and Germany. However, with the German invasion through Belgium Maginot line turned out to be useless.

Italy declares war to the Allies
Although at a first time Mussolini was against the War, he gets worried that Hitler may reach the final victory without him. The pact between Hitler and Stalin makes him even more fearing to be left politically out.
Therefore, although most of Italians were for neutrality, and the Italian troops were unprepared to a war, in March he promises Hitler to join him after the French defeat. On June 10, Italy declares war to the Allies.
However, Italian military campaigns, in Africa and in Albania, will mostly result unsuccessful.

Britain's resistance
Hitler prepares the invasion of Britain (with the code name ''Operation Sea Lion''), by planning the destruction of the Royal Air Force (RAF). German Air Force (Luftwaffe) starts heavily bombing air bases and airplane factories in the British territory.
Hitler tries to destroy also psychologically British resistance, by bombing several cities among which London, Liverpool and Coventry. However, thanks to the first radar stations, owned by Britain, the RAF can promptly react to all Luftwaffe attacks.
Instead, a psychologically important counteraction of the Allied Air Force is the bombing of Berlin, which takes place on August 28.

The discovery of plutonium
A group of physicists of the University of California, Berkeley, discovers that not all uranium atoms, when bombed by neutrons, split into two pieces (nuclear fission).
Instead, some uranium atoms absorb the neutron and then decay creating a new, short-lived element, called neptunium (recalling that, in the Solar System, the planet Neptune comes beyond Uranus).
Adding a further neutron to neptunium, other Berkeley researchers succeed to synthesize another element, called plutonium from the planet Pluto.

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