ON THIS DAY IN...
January 29, 1958: Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward are married at the El Rancho Hotel and Casino. Their marriage, considered one of the happiest and most stable among Hollywood stars, lasts 50 years until his death in 2008.
January 30, 1905: The San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad is completed, connecting Utah with Los Angeles and running through Las Vegas. Train service starts a few days later, a vital factor in the city’s development.
January 31, 2012: The MGM Grand closes its famed Lion Habitat after 23 years. The 5,000-square-foot, glass-enclosed area featured five lions at a time for visitors to examine up close. The exhibit was a tribute to MGM’s logo, and the lions were said to be descendants of Leo, who roared to open every movie.
February 1 (Monday), 2005: Sky Las Vegas Condominiums launches an ad campaign proclaiming, “Dear Tara Reid, Come Let It All Hang Out,” a tacky reference to her wardrobe malfunction on a red carpet the year before. She sues, claiming her reputation was damaged, and the parties settle later in the year.
February 2, 2005: The NFL rejects the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s latest bid to run ads during the Super Bowl with the famous “What happens here, stays here” slogan. The popular campaign doesn’t mention gambling, but the league wants nothing to do with anything that suggests wagering.
February 3, 2001: The Las Vegas Outlaws defeat the New York/New Jersey Hitmen, 19-0, at Sam Boyd Stadium in the inaugural game of the XFL, the upstart football league founded by wrestling mogul Vince McMahon. The Outlaws finish 4-6 and the league folds after one season.
February 4, 1987: Liberace, one of the most popular performers in Las Vegas history who lived in the city for much of his life, dies in Palm Springs, Calif., at 67. Mourners flock to his glitzy museum, which opened in Las Vegas in 1979. But it closes in 2010 and the artifacts of his bedazzled life go into storage.
February 5, 1909: The Nevada Legislature carves a new county out of Lincoln County and names it for Montana Sen. William Clark, a railroad magnate. Las Vegas, founded four years earlier, is chosen as the county seat over Searchlight, a mining town 60 miles south.
Thanks to former AP colleague Mike Precker for the research.