FLASHBACKS: FROM SAHARA FIRE TO “HONEYMOON IN VEGAS” TO MICHAEL JACKSON’S CEREMONIAL STAR
August 23, 2010: Ximena Navarrete of Mexico is crowned Miss Universe at the Mandalay Bay as the pageant returns to Las Vegas for the first time since 1996. She is the second Mexican to win the title, and both won their crowns in Las Vegas.
August 24, 2007: The city completes a $5.5 million renovation of the Fremont East District, a seedy three-block area of downtown aiming to lure nightlife and culture. The neon-laden district reminiscent of old Vegas glamour becomes popular among younger visitors.
August 25, 2005: American Idol runner-up Bo Bice is released from Desert Springs Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to remove an intestinal blockage. He was rushed to the hospital after arriving in Las Vegas on tour with his fellow Idols. He recovers and rejoins the tour the following month.
August 26, 1964: Just one day after a fire causes $1 million in damage, the Sahara Hotel reopens with its giant marquee proclaiming, “Visit The Hottest Casino In Town.” Buddy Hackett and Buddy Greco are the headliners.
August 27, 1996: Greg Morris, the brainy technician on TV’s Mission Impossible, is found dead at his Las Vegas apartment. The 61-year-old actor, whose son Phil played wacky lawyer Jackie Chiles on Seinfeld, suffered from cancer.
August 28, 1992: Honeymoon in Vegas, a romantic comedy starring Nicolas Cage and Sarah Jessica Parker, opens. The dramatic highlight features a jumpsuit-clad Cage skydiving into Las Vegas with the “Flying Elvises” to get his girl back. The film earns $35 million.
August 29, 2009: On what would have been his 51st birthday, Michael Jackson receives a star on the Palms Walk of Fame as fans and his father Joe look on. The honor was to have been bestowed after Jackson's “This Is It” shows in London, but he died in June just before launching the tour.
August 30, 1984: Stuntman Dan Koko jumps 326 feet from the top of Vegas World Hotel, ripping his jumpsuit but emerging from the 20-foot-deep airbag unscathed. He earns $1 million in cash from owner Bob Stupak for the record-setting plunge.
*Research and content by Mike Precker