Nevada has a long history, starting in 1897, of legislating economic activity into existence. It did not originally intend to start a quickie divorce industry. The state had a short divorce residency requirement that dated back to territorial days and was discovered by easterners in the 1890s. The state then leaped at the opportunity.

1861 Six-month residency for divorce established

1897 Prizefighting made legal

1931 Gambling made legal

1931 Six-week residency for divorce established

1949 Gov. Vail Pittman vetoed S.B. 218, which would have made prostitution legal.

1971 Legislature created population threshold allowing brothels in small counties

1977 Nevada Supreme Court lifted “public nuisance” status of prostitution

1973 After Nixon opening to China publicized acupuncture, Nevada became first state to allow its independent practice

1977 Legislature approved prescription of alleged cancer drug amygdalin (brand name Laetrile), though it remains illegal as a drug under federal law

1977 Legislature approved use of alleged youth drug procaine hydrochloride (brand name Gerovital), though it remains illegal as a drug under federal law

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Dennis Myers

Dennis Myers was the news editor of the Reno News & Review. He was a journalist for more than four decades. In 1987-88 he was chief deputy secretary of state of Nevada. He was coauthor of Uniquely...