Events

February 29, 2012

LaBar's Beat

Mob Museum a “hit”!

Tags:
Written by: Ron LaBar
More articles by »
14_54307-The-Mob-Museum-Grand-Opening-in-Downtown-Las-Vegas-md

Unless you’ve been in a coma or visiting Mars over the past few weeks, haven’t read a newspaper or turned on a TV or radio, you know the Mob Museum – officially, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement – is now open for business.

Rather poetically, it opened Valentines Day, Feb. 14th, as a sort of commemoration of the infamous Saint Valentines Day Massacre in Chicago in 1929, where seven mobsters were lined up against a wall and shot to death by rival gang members.

I got an invitation through my editor to attend “Known Associates Night’ at the Mob Museum representing the Bullseye, Nellis Air Force Base’s newspaper.

As a history buff, this was right down my alley, and I was not to be disappointed. I’ve visited more than my share of museums devoted to just about everything imaginable, but very few measure up to this museum. I did a quick walk-through of the very upscale cocktail party (a classy tent erected in the parking lot) and headed straight for the museum, the renovated former Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office. Located in downtown Las Vegas at Stewart Avenue and 4th St., the building is listed on both the National and Nevada register of historic places.

You start on the 3rd floor and work your way down to the first floor, beginning with the  origins of organized crime in America in the 1890′s, to its heyday in the prohibition era and the 1940′s and 1950′s, to mob-controlled Las Vegas and the war on organized crime.  This is a  journey well worth taking.

The design was right-on, and the myriad of exhibits are amazing. Several mini-theaters told the story of organized crime through film clips, photos and narration featuring about every mobster I’d ever heard of. Some were quite graphically bloody and not recommend for young children.

I observed that mob assassins were pretty good marksmen and seemed to specialize in headshots.

I spent three hours in the museum and know I still missed some areas – literally hundreds of exhibits are still waiting to be explored.

A not-to-be-missed highlight was the presentation in the Federal courtroom about the 1950 Las Vegas Kefauver hearings on organized crime – right where the hearings took place.

I think the Mob Museum can be viewed from a couple of angles. For the hard-core history buff it could be an absorbing all-day journey with many return trips. For the “just curious” visitor or local, plan to spend a couple hours, and you’ll emerge knowing much more about this important era of American history than you knew before.

The 41,000 square foot Mob Museum’s development and operation is overseen by the non-profit ’300 Stewart Avenue Corporation’, whose President, Ellen Knowlton, is the former FBI Special Agent in Charge, Las Vegas Division. This $42 million project was funded by the City of Las Vegas and historic preservation grants from Federal, State, and local sources.   Board members include former Governor Richard H. Bryan, Sheriff Doug Gillespie, Mayor Carolyn Goodman and former Mayor Oscar Goodman.

Still want to learn more about the mob in Las Vegas? How casino “skimming” worked?

The Kefauver hearings? Want to read bio sketches and see film clips on everybody from J. Edgar Hoover and Elliot Ness to Tony “the Ant” Spilotto, Moe Dalitz, Joey Cusumano, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, Albert Anastasia, Al Capone, Meyer Lansky, and many others? Here’s a little known fact: Moe Dalitz was a First Lieutenant, U. S. Army during WWII. It’s all here.

The Mob Museum is open Sundays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $18 for adults, 18 years and older; $12 for children, age 5 to 17 years, and students, age 18 to 23 years with ID; $14 for seniors, military, law enforcement and teachers; and $10 for Nevada residents.

Was Las Vegas a safer place to live or visit when the mob was in charge? Popular opinion was that when the mob ran things, anybody who interfered with mom and pop from Peoria, Illinois, having a good time and spending a lot of money, was dealt with quickly and quietly – maybe just a broken arm or so, but possibly a deep dive in Lake Mead with concrete shoes, or a midnight one-way trip to the desert.

You’ll have to decide for yourself – and have fun doing it!



About the Author

Ron LaBar
If you have an article covering Veteran issues, Airmen who are doing something special in the Las Vegas community, or other human interest stories you'd like to see about and for our Nellis Airmen, just e-mail the Bullseye@aerotechnews.com and we will hook you up with Ron and he'll contact you.


All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 23, 2014

News: U.S. conducts spy flights over Russia - After a tit-for-tat series of delays, the United States conducted an Open Skies Treaty intelligence flight over Russian territory April 21, a State Department official said.  Army paratroopers heading to Poland after Russian annexation of Crimea - U.S. Army paratroopers are arriving in Poland to begin a series of...
 
 

News Briefs April 23, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 22, 2014, at least 2,177 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. The AP count is one less than the Defense Department’s tally. At least...
 
 

Northrop Grumman sets new greenhouse gas emission reduction goal of 30 percent by 2020

Northrop Grumman announced April 22 its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 2010 levels by 2020, as part of its commemoration of Earth Day.   “Northrop Grumman is dedicated to top performance in environmental sustainability,” said Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president. “This new goal sets the bar significantly...
 

 

Lockheed Martin demonstrates enhanced ground control system, software for small UAV

Lockheed Martin’s Group 1 family of unmanned aircraft systems is migrating to enhanced automation capabilities using its Kestrelô “Fly Light” flight control systems and industry-leading mobile Ground Control Station software. The increased automation allows operators to focus on executing the mission, rather than flying various aircraft. Earlier this year, Lockheed MartinR...
 
 

U.S. Navy awards General Dynamics $33 million to operate, maintain military sealift ships

The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics American Overseas Marine LLC a $32.7 million contract modification to operate and maintain seven large, medium-speed, roll-on / roll-off ships for the Military Sealift Command. AMSEA is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics. Under the terms of the modification, AMSEA will provide services including crewing, engineering, maintenance,...
 
 

US Navy deploys Standard Missile-3 Block IB for first time

In partnership with the Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Navy deployed the second-generation Standard Missile-3 Block IB made by Raytheon for the first time, initiating the second phase of the Phased Adaptive Approach. “The SM-3 Block IB’s completion of initial operational testing last year set the stage for a rapid deployment to theater,” said Dr....
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>