FLASHBACKS: ALI’S LAST VEGAS FIGHT, TIGER’S FIRST CONQUEST AND BELLAGIO'S OPENING NIGHT
October 2, 1980: Muhammed Ali comes out of retirement to challenge Larry Holmes at Caesars Palace for the Heavyweight title. But the 38-year-old legend is no match for the younger champion, who wins by a TKO when Ali’s manager Angelo Dundee stops the fight after 10 rounds. It was his last fight in Las Vegas.
October 3, 2003: Roy Horn is attacked by a 380-pound white tiger during his famed show with Siegfried Fischbacher at the Mirage Hotel. He recovers from massive injuries, but Siegfried & Roy, who combined magic, theatrics and exotic animals into a wildly successful act, never perform again.
October 4, 1999: The famous “Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas” sign goes dark because the company that had been paying the electric bill is sold and the buyer stops paying. After a month the error is discovered, the bill – less than $60 – is settled and the sign glows again.
October 5, 1982: Local mobster Lefty Rosenthal summons reporters for a bizarre interview, one day after he survives a car bombing on Sahara Avenue thanks to a steel plate in the floor of his Cadillac. He vows to protect himself, but leaves town for good a year later. He’s the inspiration for the movie Casino.
October 6, 1996: Tiger Woods defeats Davis Love III on the first playoff hole to win the Las Vegas Invitational. It’s the first PGA Tour win for 20-year-old Tiger, just six weeks after he turned pro and announced, “Hello, world.” He’ll make Vegas a frequent stop in the years to come, not just for golf.On October 6, 2017, the Vegas Golden Knights win their opener, 2-1, in Dallas with James Neal scoring both goals.
October 7, 1952: Ray Bolger, the song-and-dance man who played the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, is the headliner at the opening of the Congo Room at the new Sahara Hotel. Also on the bill is singer Lisa Kirk, who co-wrote The Christmas Song (“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire”) with Mel Torme.
October 8, 2009: Cloud Nine, the world’s largest land-tethered helium balloon, begins lifting passengers 500 feet over the Las Vegas Strip for a spectacular view. But the enterprise is plagued by high winds and shuts down for good 14 months later.