The recently opened Mob Museum in Las Vegas is one of the most thorough and interesting exhibits I have ever seen. It encompasses 3 big floors, and commands about 3 hours of your time. Located in the historic former federal courthouse and US Post Office building near Fremont Street, this is where Las Vegas began nearly 100 years ago.
The landscape of Las Vegas changes rapidly, that is part of the allure of it being a destination city. When Congress approved the 18th Amendment banning alcohol in 1920, organized crime turned to filling a need demanded by the public, supplying illegal alcohol. When the 21st Amendment appealed prohibition in 1933, crime organizations needed a new vice, and gambling rose to the forefront. Gangsters needed new turf, so they headed west to a quiet little desert city on the verge of exploding into a giant.
Al Capone, Meyer Lansky, and Bugsy Siegel were early players in the gambling underground. Siegel built the first big gaming hotel in Las Vegas, The Flamingo. The Mob Museum tells the entire early history of Las Vegas, covering every shady character that ever graced the stage in the desert city. You will see artifacts from all the big name gangsters including the original blood soaked, bullet holed brick wall that was the original backdrop (and target) of Chicago’s famous St Valentine’s Day Massacre.
As your journey continues through The Mob Museum, you will also experience the other side of the story. The G-Men were the law and order side of federal, state and local governments, who worked cohesively to stop the gangsters. Famous crime fighting figures such as federal agent Eliot Ness with”The Untouchables,” and Senator Ester Kefauver are key focuses of The Mob Museum. You can even sit in the actual courtroom where the (then Congressman) Kefauver crime hearings were held in the early 1950s. You will see confiscated Tommy Guns, arrest records, mugshots, even an electric chair.
You will see high tech exciting films, experience interaction exhibits, and can even go to jail yourself for a realistic mugshot at ‘The Mob Museum’. The legacy of Hollywood’s connection with the portrayal and romancing of organized crime is also well documented. Close by is legendary Fremont Street, where the neon cowboy still winks at you, and even closer are new and trendy lunch or dinner destinations like Triple George Grill, and the Mob Bar, which sports vintage film posters of the gangster era.
The Mob Museum is an excellent way to spend an afternoon.Take all the pictures you like, but make sure you can pull yourself away from the casinos for at least 3 hours to see it. You will need that much time to capture the entire experience.
You can contact ‘the Mob Museum’ at THEMOBMUSEUM.ORG, or call (702) 228-2734.