The Implosion of El Rancho
Implosions are one of the most dramatic ways in which Las Vegas gets rid of its past. On October 3, at 2:30 a.m., it is the turn of El Rancho, about 8 years after this resort was closed.
This hotel-casino opened in 1948 as the Thunderbird, while in 1977 it changed its name into Silverbird. It got his final name, El Rancho, in 1982.
Also the Desert Inn closes on August 28, right after it has been bought by Bob Stupak, owner of the Stratosphere.

The Game of Rename
This year the Showboat, located at the far end of Fremont street, is renamed Castaway.
Also Terrible's Hotel-Casino was previously known under a different name: Continental Hotel.
Just a tiny change has been applied to the name of Santa Fe, which now becomes Santa Fe Station.

Merging of Titans
MGM Grand Inc. purchases the Mirage Resorts Inc., creating the World's largest corporation of gaming.

George W. Bush Wins the Elections
In the November 7 elections, Republican, Texan Governor, George W. Bush defeats Democrat, formed Vice President, Al Gore. At a first time, projections proclaimed Gore as winner, where the key sate results to be Florida.
However, at a later stage Florida is given to Bush, for which about 300 more votes had been counted. ON the other hand, Democrats find some flaw in the counting machines, and ask for a manual recounting.
After a 36-day legal battle, on December 13 Al Gore concedes the election to Bush. The extraordinary fact is that Bush wins the election although Gore has received 330,000 more popular votes.

Vladimir Putin Elected President
Last year, when Boris Yeltsin resigned, he named Vladimir Putin new president of the Russian Federation. Proper elections are held on March 26, this year, and Putin is confirmed as president.
Putin starts his career in KGB, the secret police of the Soviet Union. While he was Prime Minister in Yeltsin's government, he had organized the reinvasion of Chechnya. This made him very popular among the Russian people.

The Concorde Crash
On July 25, Air France Flight 4590 ends in tragedy right after the takeoff. All people aboard will be killed, as well as 5 people on the ground. The accident has been caused by a flaw in the Concorde project.
After this event, it will take more than one year before this defect will be repaired and the Concorde jets will fly again. Anyway, Concordes will be dismissed in a few years, because of the decreased number of passengers.
The Concorde is the first supersonic airliner, reaching a Mach 2 speed, and its commercial use started in 1976.

Antitrust Trial against Microsoft
Already in 1998 the US Department of Justice, together with 20 US states, files an accusation against Microsoft of abuse of its monopoly position against competitor operating systems and browsers.
On April 3, this year, the antitrust case reaches an endpoint, when Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson rules that Microsoft constitutes a monopoly that damages both competitors and consumers, and that slows down the progress in this field.
Judge Jackson orders that Microsoft be split in two different units: one dealing only with the operating system and the other with all other software components. This decision will be overturned on appeal.

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