FLASHBACKS: FROM BRITNEY’S 55-HOUR MARRIAGE TO SIN CITY'S FIRST TOPLESS SHOW
January 3, 2004: Britney Spears marries childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander at 5:30 a.m. at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. Amid an international media furor, the marriage is annulled 55 hours later, with her publicist claiming the couple “took a joke too far.”
January 4, 1974: Snow, a rare event in any amount in Las Vegas, starts to fall and continues over two days, resulting in a record-breaking nine inches on the ground.
January 5, 2000: Celine Dion and Rene Angelil renew their marriage vows in a lavish ceremony at Caesars Palace that features a mosque setting with Berber tents, camels and exotic birds, and 200 guests. It was her 32nd birthday.
January 6, 1997: Herbert “Fat Herbie” Blitzstein is shot to death in his Las Vegas home, victim of an apparent mob hit. He was a major figure in the Chicago mob’s Vegas operations, reportedly running loan shark, insurance fraud and burglary rackets. The character Bernie Blue in Casino was based on him.
January 7, 1830: Rafael Rivera, a scout on a team trying to blaze a trail for Mexican traders from Santa Fe to California, reports finding water holes, including an oasis with a freshwater spring. They call it Las Vegas, or “the meadows.”
January 8, 1998: The Consumer Electronics Show, which began in 1967, takes up permanent residence in Las Vegas. The annual convention has become one of the city’s largest, drawing huge crowds and international attention as companies show off their latest high-tech toys.
January 9, 2005: Vince Neil marries Lia Gerardini at the Four Seasons hotel, sparking reactions one might not expect from Motley Crue. “I started crying, Tommy Lee started crying, then everyone just lost it,” he reports. Rapper MC Hammer performs the ceremony. The Neils separate in 2010.
January 10, 1955: Minsky’s Follies, the first topless show in Las Vegas, opens at the Dunes Hotel. It draws 16,000 people in the first week and runs for six years.
—Researched and written by Mike Precker