Between 1951 and 1962, the Nevada Test Site northwest of Las Vegas was the location of exactly 100 above-ground nuclear blasts and hundreds more below-ground tests. The atmospheric tests were the fun ones, of course, you could sit in your hotel room in Las Vegas and marvel at the mushroom clouds some 65 miles away. If you were in the military, you might have an even closer view. These were awesome glimpses of unimaginable power – but not to worry, you were safe: Tests were conducted only when the desert breezes blew away from Las Vegas and the heavily populated Southern California regions beyond. To show you exactly how safe it all was, the federal government even drove carloads of ranchers out to see the Test Site after some blasts (giving the dust a couple of hours to settle safely first, of course).
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