Las Vegas (Spanish for "The Meadows"), officially the City of Las Vegas and often known simply as Vegas, is the 28th-most populated city in the United States, the most populated city in the state of Nevada, and the county seat of Clark County. The city anchors the Las Vegas Valley metropolitan area and is the largest city within the greater Mojave Desert.
Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city, known primarily for its gambling, shopping, fine dining, entertainment, and nightlife. The Las Vegas Valley as a whole serves as the leading financial, commercial, and cultural centre for Nevada. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous for its mega casino–hotels and associated activities. It is a top three destination in the United States for business conventions and a global leader in the hospitality industry, claiming more AAA Five Diamond hotels than any other city in the world.
Today, Las Vegas annually ranks as one of the world's most visited tourist destinations. The city's tolerance for numerous forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, and has made Las Vegas a popular setting for literature, films, television programs, and music videos.
Las Vegas was settled in 1905 and officially incorporated in 1911. At the close of the 20th century, it was the most populated American city founded within that century (a similar distinction earned by Chicago in the 1800s). Population growth has accelerated since the 1960s, and between 1990 and 2000 the population nearly doubled, increasing by 85.2%. Rapid growth has continued into the 21st century, and according to a 2013 estimate, the population is 603,488 with a regional population of 2,027,828.
"Las Vegas" is often used to describe areas beyond official city limits—especially the areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip, which is actually located within the unincorporated communities of Paradise, Winchester, and Enterprise.
On October 1, 2017, a mass shooting occurred at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. During the closing performance by singer Jason Aldean at a packed outdoor concert, a gunman located on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino across Las Vegas Boulevard opened fire into the festival crowd.
The shooter was identified as 64-year-old Stephen Craig Paddock, who lived in Mesquite, Nevada. He was found dead in his hotel room with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. With at least 60 fatalities (including the perpetrator) and 527 injuries, the shooting surpassed the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting as the deadliest shooting by a single gunman in United States history.
Unfortunately, this is the second mass shooting in recent history in Las Vegas. The 2014 Las Vegas shootings occurred on June 8, 2014 in northeastern Las Vegas, Nevada, when a married couple, Jerad and Amanda Miller, committed a shooting spree in which five people died, including themselves. The couple, who espoused extreme anti-government views, first killed two Las Vegas police officers at a restaurant before fleeing into a Walmart, where they killed an intervening armed civilian. The couple died after engaging responding officers in a shootout; police shot and killed Jerad, while Amanda committed suicide after being wounded.
It is sad to see these mass shootings being repeated every now and then in the USA, in large cities and small towns. Looking worldwide, the USA leads in such violence and it seems that its, history, its laws and powerful lobbying perpetuate the problem. An interesting case is made here. One can only sympathise with the plight of the family and friends of the victims in these tragic circumstances and hope against hope that something may be done about these outrages by US lawmakers.
The USA could have been and should have been the best country in the world to live in. When we visited there several times in the 1990s and up to the early 2000s we were amazed by the country and its people. It is sad to see it slipping into a downward spiral simply because a few bad apples are ruining the whole crop and nobody is willing to take those bad apples out of the bushels...
This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.