The death of ''Bugsy'' Siegel
On June 20, Benjamin Siegel, the flamboyant gangster who linked his name to the history of Las Vegas, is killed in his house in Beverley Hills.
The assassin, who will never be identified, shoots at his head with a precision carbine and kills him on the spot.
Expecting an attack, Siegel had provided his Las Vegas residence at the Flamingo with concrete walls armed with layers of steel, and with secret escape hatches.

The death of Harley Harmon
Harley A. Harmon dies by a heart attack, just after having ended a speach to the Young Democrats in Reno with the words ''I'd give my last breath for the Democratic Party''.
He came to Las Vegas in 1905, working for the Railroad Company. Although he was an engineer, he will first become clerk of the Clark County, and then attorney.
As an attorney, he has become famous for his activity against the outlaws that had gathered in the area after the construction of the Hoover Dam.

The Cold War begins
After the end of the World War II, it soon becomes clear that no agreement will be possible between the Western Countries and the Communist ones.
Stalin denounces the Western countries of imperialism, and keeps Soviet Union out of organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
On March 12, President Truman presents to Congress the anticommunist declaration. Huge investments will be approved to support anticommunist regimes.

The Marshall Plan
In June, the Secretary of State George C. Marshall, speaking at Harvard University, puts forward a plan of support to Western Europe countries.
The goal is to trigger a prompt recovery of the European economy, after the World War II, as well as to support governments in opposition to the Soviet hegemony.
The plan will last 4 years, during which the United States will spend about $13 billion in aids to European Governments.

The first transistor
The American physicist William Shockley, of the Bell Telephone Labs, discovers that electric currents can flow through some non-metallic elements.
With John Bardeen and Walter H. Brattain he will devise the first ''transistor'', in which a current is TRANsferred through a reSISTOR (from which its name).
Using elements like germanium or silicon, a transistor can mimic the behavior of a vacuum tube, but in a much smaller space and consuming a much smaller power.

Racial integration in baseball
Jackie Robinson is the first black allowed to play in a major-league baseball team, the Brooklyn Dodgers. He debuts on April 15, at Brooklyn Ebbets Field.
Although Robinson is an extremely gifted player, it will take a long time before he is integrated. A petition is signed against him, and he receives death threats.
He will play almost 1,400 games in a ten-year carrier, in which he will be batting above 0.3. He will become the first black entering the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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