Neon / Atomic Testing

Neon / Atomic Testing (HMW64)

Location: Las Vegas, NV 89101 Clark County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 10.214', W 115° 8.561'

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This is a two sided marker
Side A:

Neon lighting, introduced in Paris in 1910, offered a brilliant, and efficient, alternative to the incandescent light bulb. In the United States, neon's popularity soared, used to advertise motels, restaurants, theatres, and it even appeared on the Goodyear Blimp. The spectacular signs of Broadway's "Great White Way" became the ultimate neon display. Then, just as quickly, its popularity faded. After World War II, skilled neon craftsmen retired and were not replaced; less expensive, mass-produced plastic signs became common. As the use of neon declined around the country, it found a new, unexpected life in Las Vegas. The first neon sign in Las Vegas was built in 1929, probably for the Oasis Caf? at 123 Fremont Street. The 1940s and 1950s saw the birth of the Las Vegas Strip and "Glitter Gulch" downtown. The hotels raced each other for the biggest, tallest, and brightest casino sign.

Las Vegas wanted to project an image of lights, glamour, and excitement, and neon played a large role in creating that image. The signs dwarf the very buildings they are advertising; at night in Las Vegas, the signs themselves become the architecture. Neon has gaiety, joy, and pageantry. The canvas is the night.

Side B:
Atomic Testing
After World War II, and during the early stages of the "Cold War" with the Soviet Union, the United States began above ground atomic testing in the South Pacific. The decision to move testing to Nevada was made primarily for national security reasons. The area had a small population and was already owned by the federal government. The first test at the Nevada Test Site was conducted on January 27, 1951. The test site was a boon for the Las Vegas economy, providing thousands of jobs and international publicity.

Many locals and tourist traveled to Mount Charleston to better view the blasts. The mushroom cloud became a symbol of the times. Atomic hairdos, atomic cocktails, and Miss Atomic Bomb contest became part of Las Vegas culture. Testing moved underground in 1963, after a treaty was signed by the U.S., Great Britain and the Soviet Union. Controversy arose over the issue of the "Downwinders," who were exposed to radiation in the fallout patterns. Health problems for those exposed to the radiation, including soldiers who participated in the tests, are a tragic by-product of the era. The last underground test was September 23, 1993. A portion of the site, Yucca Mountain, is currently being developed for storage of nuclear waste.
HM NumberHMW64
Year Placed2005
Placed ByThe Commission for the Las Vegas Centennial
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 11:37pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11S E 667043 N 4004428
Decimal Degrees36.17023333, -115.14268333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 10.214', W 115° 8.561'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 10' 12.84" N, 115° 8' 33.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)702
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 300 Fremont St, Las Vegas NV 89101, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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