This week, Ira spoke with Larry Gragg, author of “Becoming America’s Playground, Las Vegas in the 1950s.” In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Gragg talks about the confluence of events that propelled Las Vegas into the consciousness of America; why local leaders and institutions coalesced around the idea of making Las Vegas a tourist destination; how entertainment was the coin of the realm for competition among resorts; and the three people he thinks were responsible for setting Las Vegas on the road to success in those years.
Gragg is Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. He has a B.S. and an M.A. in history from Missouri State University and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Gragg began teaching at the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1977, and served as chair of the history and political science department for 17 years, one year as vice-provost for undergraduate studies, and was the founding chair of the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence.
He is the author of ten books including, “Las Vegas in Popular Culture” (2013) and “Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel: The Gangster, the Flamingo, and The Making of Modern Las Vegas” (2015).
University of Oklahoma Press: https://bit.ly/3dVxWJH