This Week in History

Editor’s note: The following is a weekly column that revisits the Las Vegas Optic’s coverage in years gone by.


125 years ago

Nov. 12, 1896

Rooms at the Plaza Hotel were advertised for between 50 cents and $1 per night, or $5-$12 for the week. Meals were available for 85 cents per meal, or $6 for the week. The hotel was advertised as the only “first-class house” in the city. 

A case of leprosy was discovered in New Mexico, which prompted one local citizen to question whether the state’s Board of Health was properly equipped to handle such issues and make sure it did not spread through the population. 

A performance of “Faust” at the Tamme Opera House was interrupted by several members of the audience whistling and issuing cat calls to the performers. This caused the newspaper to call for more security at the opera house for future performances. 


100 years ago

Nov. 12, 1921

A federal court ruled that 80,000 acres of land on the Mora Land Grant were the property of the state investment company and E.B. Wheeler, and that the United States had no claim to the land as public property. The land was considered highly valuable, and the United States wished to take advantage of that and sell it off to investors. The court disagreed with them, however, leaving the land in the hands of the state. 

A parade was held for Armistice Day, which featured more than 200 veterans of three wars parading down the streets of Las Vegas to the cheers of the thousands of locals in attendance. This was the fourth Armistice Day celebration in the city, with the first coming in 1918. The East Las Vegas band was in attendance, escorting the parade with patriotic music. 

A fire broke out in the warehouse of Rosenwald grocery store, which destroyed a large portion of the store’s reserve groceries. The fire was described as a “total loss,” which had to be replaced immediately.


50 years ago

Nov. 12, 1971

Erminio Padilla, a 22-year-old Las Vegas man, was found guilty of armed robbery and aggravated battery in connection to an incident at Al’s Liquor Store on South Highway 85. The man took $185 from the store at gunpoint and beat the man working at the store, who was also a part-time postal employee. Also at the time of the trial, Padilla faced a murder charge in a separate incident. 

Heading into the final week of the football season, the Robertson Cardinals were fourth in the Class 3A poll, while West Las Vegas was in a tie for 10th place. 

Mora native Facundo Valdez was tasked with leading a statewide program at keeping college students enrolled and decreasing the state’s dropout rate. 

City employees were granted a $25 per month raise thanks to a tie breaking vote by mayor Fidel Gonzales at a city council meeting.

25 years ago

Nov. 12, 1996

The city council approved a plan that would allow public housing residents to purchase their homes and begin paying off a mortgage, rather than a monthly rent, as a way of providing those people with extra security in their living situations. Applicants for the program were required to undergo budget training, as well as home maintenance training. 

Two football players from New Mexico Highlands University earned player of the week awards. In a 45-42 victory over the University of Nebraska-Kearney, quarterback Jamie Sander went 38-74 with 551 passing yards and five touchdowns, while kicker Eliseo Aguirre went 6-6 on PAT kicks, and also made a 24-yard field goal.

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