1955
THIS YEAR IN LAS VEGAS ...

WHILE IN THE WORLD ...

Tony Cordero's Death
On July 31, Tony Cordero dies by a stroke while playing at a gambling table. This has probably been the best way to die, for a gambler as he was.
Cordero has been selling liquors at the time of Prohibition, and he had been jailed for it. For a few months, he owned the luxurious Meadows hotel-casino.
The ''Admiral'' (he was called in this way) had envisaged the Stardust Hotel. However, he did not live long enough to see its completion.

Inauguration of the Riviera
On April 20, the Riviera begins its glorious history with an extraordinary guest. Liberace, the best paid entertainer in the history of Las Vegas, will cut the ribbon and will perform that evening.
The Riviera is the first hotel on the Strip showing a ''skyscraper'', a nine-stories building.
Instead, the Royal Nevada Hotel, opened on the Strip on day before, will have much less fortune. It will change owners one year later, and will be closed after just four years.

Other Hotel Casinos on the Strip
On May 23, with the slogan ''The Miracle in the Desert'', a major theme hotel opens on the Strip: the Dunes, with its 200 rooms. Musical star Vera-Ellen will be the entertainer for the opening night.
The Last Frontier, originally opened in 1942, is remodeled and, on April 4, it reopens with the name of New Frontier.

The Moulin Rouge
The Moulin Rouge, instead, passes like a meteor. Opened on West Bonanza Road on May 24, it will shine only 6 months.
However, it will remain in the history of Las Vegas, for having opened to the black community, while on the Strip there is still a strong segregation.
At the Moulin Rouge, a number of black entertainers will perform, among which Sammy Davis, Jr., Pearl Bailey, Louis Armstrong. Even one of its owners, Sarann Knight-Preddy, is an African American.

Joan Crawford's Wedding
On May 9, Hollywood star Joan Crawford gets married to Alfred N. Steele, Board Chairman of Pepsi-Cola. Steele will die of a heart attack in 1957.

Towards Mass Polio Vaccination
On April 12, Dr. Jonas Salk announces the results of a test mass vaccination lasted three years: his vaccine his effective and can be used without risks, even on children.
Previously, to get immunization a weakened version of the virus was inoculated. This was causing a mild, but still risky version of the disease. Salk discovers that the same effect is obtained with a killed-virus vaccine.

Death of James Dean
On September 30, James Dean's Porsche crashes against another car and he gets killed in the accident. At the age of 24, Dean dies at the apex of his career, but his legend will survive.
Four days after his death, the movie ''Rebel without a Cause'' is released. This movie, where he played the role of a frustrated middle-class teenager, will be a success far beyond expectations.
''Giant'', the movie where he played his last role, will appear next year. Jean Dean will remain a myth for generations of teenagers.

Birth of Disneyland
On July 17, Walt Disney opens in Anaheim, California, an unprecedented theme park: Disneyland. This park outclasses, by its extension and its attractions, all previous amusement parks.
Disneyland, also called ''The Magic Kingdom'', is subdivided into three realms called Adventureland, Fantasyland and Frontierland, where people of every age may turn into children and have fun.

McDonald's National Success
Brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald had opened a drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino, California, where they have devised an assembly-line method to prepare burgers and other meals.
They had a great success in California, where they began selling franchises of their trademark ''McDonald's'', while they met Ray A. Kroc, a distributor of the Multimixer, a machine to prepare milk shakes.
Kroc convinces McDonald brothers to extend their business beyond California State and, in April this year, he opens a fast-food franchise in Chicago. He will eventually buy the license of McDonalds brothers.

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