A CONTESTED $1 MILLION SLOT MACHINE JACKPOT, THE PREMIERE OF “OCEAN’S 11,” AND LIBERACE’S LAST SHOW
August 6, 1987: The Erickson family of Hot Springs, Ark., lawyers up to challenge Caesars Palace, a day after the casino refuses to pay a $1 million slot machine jackpot that 19-year-old Kirk had won. He wasn’t old enough to pull the handle. The legal battle lasts four years, but the Ericksons lose.
August 7, 1999: Tiger Woods hosts a benefit concert at the Rio featuring Glenn Frey and Celine Dion to raise money for his foundation benefiting youth charities. The “Tiger Jam” started in Los Angeles the year before, but relocates to Las Vegas and becomes an annual star-studded gala. It took a one-year hiatus after his infidelity scandal.
August 8, 1990: The Landmark Hotel, once the tallest building in Las Vegas and a distinctive part of the skyline for three decades, closes after years of financial woes. The 31-story tower, formerly owned by Howard Hughes, is imploded in 1995, with the footage featured in the movie "Mars Attacks!"
August 9, 1976: The body of Johnny Rosselli, once the most powerful mobster in Las Vegas, is found in a 55-gallon drum off the Florida coast. At his Vegas pinnacle in the ’60s, Rosselli controlled interests in several hotels, ran a talent booking agency and helped the CIA’s effort to kill Fidel Castro. One of his scrapes in Las Vegas included a very brief showdown with legendary Sheriff Ralph Lamb, who grabbed him by his necktie and slapped him silly. Legend has it that Lamb ordered extra “delousing” at the jail.
August 10, 1960: "Ocean’s 11" premieres, with Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack – Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford – masterminding a simultaneous heist at five Las Vegas hotels. The Rat Pack had filmed all day and caroused all night, adding to the film’s iconic status.
August 11, 1986: Liberace performs his last Las Vegas show at Caesars Palace, 42 years after his Vegas debut. He dies six months later of a disease caused by AIDS, which he denied he had when rumors began surfacing.
August 12, 2000: Boxer Evander Holyfield claims a version of the heavyweight championship for a record fourth time with a narrow decision over John Ruiz at the Paris Hotel. Many observers and Ruiz himself saw it differently, as the underdog called the verdict “a robbery without a gun.”
Flashbacks research by Mike Precker