VEGAS ALMANAC BY CHIP MOSHER
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Feb. 1, 2006: Metro officer Sgt. Henry Prendes, 37, is shot and killed during a domestic violence call, “the 17th Southern Nevada law enforcement officer to die on duty since 1933.”
Feb. 2, 1979: Gray Panther founder Maggie Kuhn, 73, has recently been in town speaking about the “gerontophobia epidemic” sweeping the nation, “which is denying older people their human rights.”
Feb. 3, 1964: United Nations representatives from Hungary, Poland and Romania have been denied permission, by the U.S. government, to visit Vegas this week during a trip here allowing other U.N. delegates.
Feb. 4, 1952: Dr. C.L. McVey is using rare African toads “in place of rabbits for pregnancy tests for local women.”
Feb. 5, 1910: The newspaper reports on the death of Judge Marius Beal, 62, who helped create the Vegas Artesian Water Syndicate, “marking the beginning development of Vegas Valley lands and water.”
Feb 6, 2014: Vegas awakens to no CityLife.
Feb. 7, 1946: With about 1,000 persons out of work, Clark County unemployment is at an all-time high.
Feb. 8, 1927: Blanche Erdman files for divorce against her husband, Fred, because he forced her to run their home on $2 per week, beat her up and gambled away all their money.
Feb. 9, 1917: Bert Stacey is arrested under the Mann white slave law for bringing his wife, Gladys, to Vegas from L.A. and setting her up in a house of prostitution to “profit from her commerce.”
Feb. 10, 1983: Let’s Spend the Night Together, starring the Rolling Stones, is at the Cinedome Theaters.
Feb. 11, 1955: Blind activist, Marion Keele, 58, who lost his eyesight during World War Two, has died from a heart attack. Through his tireless efforts, Nevada finally provided financial assistance for the blind— the last state in the nation to do so.
Feb. 12, 1910: Dr. William Park has won the Vegas Gun Club’s latest competition, hitting 70 percent of his 200 clay pigeons with a 20 gauge Parker shotgun.
Feb. 13, 1949: Star of several Shirley Temple films, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson is performing at the Flamingo Hotel.
Feb. 14, 1950: A California crime commission links Jack Dragna, “the Al Capone of Los Angeles,” to gambling operations in Nevada.
Feb. 15, 1946: Mrs. Grace Huebner is on trial for serving whiskey and beer at wild drinking parties in her Henderson home “to upper grammar school students, ages 13 to 15,” sometimes up to 24 kids. And getting them drunk.
Feb. 16, 1963: Rock Hudson and Doris Day are starring in Lover Come Back at the drive-in.
Feb. 17, 1933: Ray Miller, 34, is sentenced to die in the gas chamber for shooting his wife, Evelyn, “as she ascended the stairs in the lobby of the Palace Theater on her way to see her attorney.” Miller says of the murder: “Glad I did it. I’d do the same thing again.”
Feb. 18, 1983: Golden Nugget Chairman Stephen Wynn reportedly says the proposed state lottery is “the dumbest idea that’s ever come down the pike. If the gaming industry is allowed to take the course it has in the past 50 years, then tax money follows quite naturally.”
Feb. 19, 1946: At the Market Spot grocery store near Carson Avenue and Second Street, a package of 54 Kotex Sanitary Napkins is 89 cents.
Feb. 20, 1960: Former Los Angeles vice cop and founder of the Golden Nugget Gambling Hall in 1946, Guy McAfee, 71, dies at Sunrise Hospital. He has been credited with giving the nickname “the Strip” to Highway 91 in Vegas.
Feb. 21, 1976: In the news: Jimmy Grippo, 84, “a Caesar’s Palace magician,” says UFOs are illusions. He also states that 95 percent of all human ailments are psychosomatic, and he can add 25 years to people’s lives if they learn his special self-hypnosis technique.
Feb. 22, 1958: Local authorities notify Joe Dotson that the building in which he keeps his extra-large petrified dinosaur egg is out of compliance with a city ordinance.
Feb. 23, 1976: Angry parent Martin Logan is suing fifth grade teacher Lewis Holt in small claims court “for destroying his daughter’s copy of Mad Magazine in class.”
Feb. 24, 1976: Minister Henry Furman pleads guilty to manslaughter for “strangling the demons out of his possessed wife, Clara, 30, with a belt, as three of his parishioners watched. They knew the demons had been routed when Mrs. Furman’s lifeless body remained still for the next five days.”
Feb. 25, 1910: Las Vegas is four years old, population 1,250.
Feb. 26, 1999: Recently released statistics reveal that Nevada ranked second in the nation, in 1996, for firearm fatality rates - with 222 suicides and 128 homicides, or 22.4 gun deaths per 100,000 people.
Feb. 27, 1976: Liquor and Gaming Licensing Board Member Thalia Dondero “launches an attack on motels which show X-rated films in patrons’ rooms.”
Feb. 28, 1980: Scattered across the U.S., five or six wannabe future newspaper editors, independent of each other, wake up screaming from the same foreboding dream - a nightmare where, someday, they will be painfully forced to edit the low-life rants of a dyspeptic gasbag named Chip Mosher for a doomed alternative weekly, Las Vegas CityLife.
Sources: Las Vegas Age; Las Vegas Morning Tribune; Review-Journal; Sun.