Destination Nevada: Exploring the history of Las Vegas’ organized crime during a tour of The Mob Museum

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — In a city known for world-class entertainment, there’s a unique spot where lovers of Mob stories and the era can walk through the history and the crime.

“The Mob played a big role in the birth of Las Vegas, said Felicia Lindquist, the Mob Museum.

At the Mob Museum, which is just north of the Strip in downtown Las Vegas, the sound of jazz, old slot machines, vintage suits, and guns give a glimpse into the Mob era and its influence in Las Vegas.

“Many families that were big in their cities at home; Kansas City, New York, Detriot, Chicago — came to Las Vegas to participate and make money, so Las Vegas was referred to as an open city,” Lindquist said.

The museum spans four floors inside the former Post Office and Federal Courthouse downtown. The Kefauver committee met in the courtroom in 1950.

At the Mob Museum, attendees can relive the hearings that exposed organized crime across the country. Pieces of that history are displayed in the museum, including the original bricks with bullet holes in them from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” in Chicago, Illinois.

“This was a pivotal moment in Mob history where seven men were gunned down in front of a wall that was made to look like a police screen,” said Lindquist.

After visitors of the Mob Museum learn about the infamous mobsters, an autopsy table in the crime lab gives another inside look into many of their untimely ends.

The Mob Museum also offers more on the Mob’s history during the prohibition time with moonshine made in the museum’s distillery and served at its underground speakeasy.

“We have bartenders who specialize in historic cocktails; each of our cocktails tells a story about prohibition and the mob,” Lindquist said.

Later this month, the Mob Museum will host a special program focused on billionaire and former KLAS-TV owner Howard Hughes and the impact he had on Las Vegas.

It’s scheduled for July 22nd, which is the same day Channel 8 first went on air back in 1953. Channel 8 was Nevada’s first television station.

Hughes owned KLAS-TV in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

The Howard Hughes event at The Mob Museum is sold out, but those wanting to attend can still be added to a waitlist for tickets or watch the live stream on the Mob Museums website.

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