1983
THIS YEAR IN LAS VEGAS ...

WHILE IN THE WORLD ...

Professional Baseball in Las Vegas
''Cashman Field'' baseball stadium is inaugurated on April 1, with an exhibition game between the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres.
The stadium, together with a convention center and a theatre, has been built on land donated by James "Big Jim" Cashman.
On April 10, the newly created Las Vegas team, the ''Stars'', defeats Salt-Lake City.

MGM Grand Changes its Name
The MGM Grand still has to recover, after the 1980 big fire.
This hotel-casino is finally sold, and changes its name to Bally's.

Smaller Factories of Fun on the Strip
Slots O'Fun casino opens near Circus Circus.
Also Westward Ho casino opens this year, between Circus Circus and The Stardust.

The Thomas & Mach Center
The Arena/Stadium Thomas & Mach Center is completed.
Named after two famous Las Vegas bankers, E. Parry Thomas and Jerome Mack, it has been designed as a sports venue to house the UNLV Runnin' Rebels.
The Gala Grand Opening is held on December 16, with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Diana Ross as special guests.

The Invasion of Grenada
The crisis in the Caribbean island of Grenada starts, in October, with the fight between Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and his former deputy premier, Bernard Coard.
When Coard orders the arrest of Bishop, a large number of people rallies in his support, and takes him out of jail. The army, with Coard, reacts massacring many people, among which Bishop himself.
President Ronald Reagan decides the occupation of Grenada until new elections. Although only few people are killed, this invasion will be widely condemned as a violation of international laws.

Middle East without Peace
Israeli invasion of Lebanon does not succeed to move PLO guerrilla away from the Bekaa Valley.
In April, a truck-bomb explodes in front of the U.S. embassy, in Beirut. 40 people are killed, among which 17 Americans.
In October, the results of other car-bomb attacks are even more severe: 58 French people and 241 Americans are killed.

The Assassination of Aquino
Benigno Aquino, the 50-year old political leader rival of President Ferdinand Marcos, is shot to death in August at the airport of Manila, just after he has left the plane.
Aquino decided to return to Philippines, even knowing the high he would have been exposed. He had already sentenced to death, but the dictator let him go in exile three years ago.
Although Marcos will publicly execrate this assassination, it will become soon clear that he has been the mandator. This will strengthen the opposition of Filipinos against him.

The U.S. Nuclear Shield
On March 23, President Donald Reagan announces a new plan of national defense, consisting in a space based ''nuclear shield'' able destroy any Soviet missile launched against U.S. targets.
Before then, the strategy of nuclear superpowers was that of ''deterrence'', namely sufficient numbers of nuclear weapons to mutually destroy the enemy.
The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), also nicknamed ''Star Wars'', depends on technologies that are still to come. President Reagan, however, promises it to be ready by the end of the century.

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