An associate professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Michael S. Green specializes in nineteenth-century politics and the American West. His works on the Civil War era include Freedom, Union, and Power: Lincoln and His Party during the Civil War (2004); Politics and America in Crisis: The Coming of the Civil War (2010); and Lincoln and the Election of 1860 (2011). His books on Nevada include Las Vegas: A Centennial History (2005), with Eugene Moehring, and Nevada: A History of the Silver State (2015). A recipient of the American Historical Association's Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award, he is also on the board of directors of Las Vegas's nationally known and highly respected Mob Museum. He serves as the executive director of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association and the director of Preserve Nevada, the state's only statewide historic preservation organization.
While stars like Sammy Davis, Jr., and Lena Horne performed in Las Vegas showrooms, they usually couldn't even stay at the hotel where they were appearing. Las Vegas became known as "The Mississippi of the West" for its segregation, in the community and on the Strip. This lecture examines how Las Vegas became that way, and began to change during the civil rights movement.