FLASHBACKS: FROM GEORGE BURNS’ 100TH TO THE DEATH OF TOM PARKER
January 16, 1942: Actress Carole Lombard (and wife of Clark Gable) is killed when her TWA flight crashes into a mountain after taking off from Las Vegas. She was 33. The 22 victims also included her mother and press agent.
January 17, 1996: Comedian George Burns was to open a week of sold-out shows at Caesars Palace marking his 100th birthday. But a fall suffered several months earlier makes him too frail, and the tickets become just collectors’ items. Burns dies two months later, having fulfilled his vow to live to 100.
January 18, 2006: Las Vegas couple Anna Ayala and Jaime Plascencia are sentenced to long prison terms for falsely suing Wendy’s after they claimed to find a severed human finger in her chili. They had bought the finger from a coworker to pull the fast-food scam.
January 19, 2012: The Chuck Jones Experience, a multimedia interactive tribute to the creator of Bugs Bunny and his animated pals, opens at Circus Circus. In typical Looney Tunes fashion, the creators forego the traditional ribbon-cutting and blow up a bundle of fake Acme dynamite to open the doors.
January 20, 1997: Colonel Tom Parker, the longtime manager of Elvis Presley, suffers a stroke at his Las Vegas home and dies the next day at 87. He had moved to Las Vegas after Elvis died and reportedly gambled away much of his fortune.
January 21, 2006: After 85 years in Atlantic City, the Miss America Pageant moves to Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Jennifer Berry, Miss Oklahoma, who performs a ballet number in the talent competition, wins the crown.
January 22, 2008: Yellowcard, a popular punk pop band that features the unusual addition of a violin, releases Live From Las Vegas at The Palms, an 10-song album recorded the previous fall during a concert stop, coincidentally, in Las Vegas at The Palms. It quickly shoots to number 2 on iTunes.
—Researched and written by Mike Precker