Remembering Las Vegas’s Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino: First Desegrated Hotel/Casino in American History
In honor of Black History Month, above is a photo of the original sign from the Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino. In 1955, the Las Vegas resort became the first desegrated hotel-casino. It is part of the National Register of Historic Places. When the Moulin Rouge was opened, Sarann-Knight Preddy was the holder of its casino license. She was the first African American woman to get a gaming license in the State of Nevada.
The resort made Life Magazine’s June 1955 cover. The article inside the magazine discussed the Moulin Rouge and another new resort, the Dunes Hotel, and Casino. The question was posed, did Las Vegas have too many hotels and casinos in the mid-1950s? Was there no further room for expansion?
Though open for less than a year, the Moulin Rouge is still talked about to this day. In 1960, the shuttered resort became the location for a meeting that would lead to all resorts in Las Vegas desegregating. That meeting was attended by the NAACP, hotel owners, city and state political figures, and numerous others. Publisher and editor of the Las Vegas Sun Hank Greenspun moderated the discussion.
There have been books, films, and other educational programs done about the Moulin Rouge. For years people have shared their desire to see the resort come back into existence.
Today the Moulin Rouge sign is at the Neon Museum. It was restored to its original form and glory last year and can now be seen there.