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For 10 years, from around 1952–1963, atomic tourism was a big deal. Nuclear testing was taking place about 80 kilometers (50 mi) from Las Vegas, and civilian tourists would get as close to the blast as they could to throw all-night parties in sight of the mushroom cloud. What followed sounds an awful lot like the back story to the game Fallout: New Vegas.
Whenever a bomb was dropped, there would be “Dawn Bomb Parties.” These started at midnight, Vegas crooners performing until 4:00 AM, when the party would stop for the partygoers to silently watch the flash and resulting mushroom cloud bloom on the horizon. Elvis even had one of his first gigs here around 1952. Of course he was a relative unknown, and he didn’t go over too well at the time. There was even a new drink created. It was called an “Atomic Cocktail.”
Even though the government was careful to make sure that the wind was blowing in such a way as to blow away any fallout, people as far away as Utah reported that their animals and livestock were getting sick.
Over 41 years, the federal government detonated 921 nuclear warheads underground at the Nevada Test Site, 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Each explosion deposited a toxic load of radioactivity into the ground and, in some cases, directly into aquifers.
originally posted by: Kandinsky
a reply to: BotheLumberJack
Nice one! It's kind of obvious we'd be partying at A-bomb tests now I know about it. Any excuse and someone, somewhere is calling it a 'theme party.' I didn't know until your OP so thanks.
It sounds good in a nostalgic way. Fill the car with a bunch of friends, turn the radio up and drive out to a viewpoint to watch a test go off. Maybe catch a saucer sighting?! Drive back to Vegas swigging JD to get screwed over by gangsters and watch Dean Martin in the casino.