How Gaming Made Reno Famous

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Event Series Event Series: Artown Talks

July 8, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

In 1931 gaming was legalized in Nevada, and it made Reno and all of Nevada different from the other states. With this new entertainment, everyone rushed to Nevada to gamble. This coincides with the beginning of the Great Depression and the new loose divorce law which lowered residence requirements to six weeks. People flocked to Nevada to get a divorce. What is there to do for six long weeks. Reno’s downtown was filled with saloons and casinos, along with Woolworths, JC Penney’s, Sears, Sewell’s Grocery, Grey Reid’s, etc.   

Speakers Bio: When Russell Umbraco studied at UNR, there was a discovery of gold coins in Virginia City.  After seeing it in the news, Russell — and everyone else in town — went to Virginia City to find gold coins.  The coins eluded him, finding only dirty old bottles. After graduating from UNR in chemistry, he and his wife Kitty moved to the Bay Area.  They bought an old Victorian and restored the old house, furnishing it with old bottles from Virginia City.  After retirement, the couple moved back to Reno, and shared their love of history. 


Every Saturday in July join us for a FREE Artown talk and tour! Nevada history is rich with characters, legends, and lore. Hear the stories of the way Nevada and Reno came to be in five short history talks. Then pick up a camera and record your own bit of our state with a photo clinic. Tour the galleries and our Educational Gallery Guides can give you the inside scoop on artifacts. Seating is limited so arrive early. The Nevada Historical is located on the UNR campus across from the Fleischmann Planetarium. Free parking passes are available. 


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