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The Day Welfare Mothers Closed Down Caesars Palace

By Chuckmonster on Friday, 9th December 2005 8:23pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0

   

In 1971, a group of black welfare mothers burst into Caesars Palace, strode past replicas of Roman statuary and toga-wearing waitresses, and shut the casino down.

Young children carried signs telling startled, white tourists "Don't gamble with human lives."

"We didn't even have to touch a table, just walk by and everybody was ... putting away the money," said Ruby Duncan, one of the leaders of the march to protest state cuts in welfare spending.

The gambling tables, the pulse of Nevada's economy, were closed for nearly an hour.

Duncan, now a 73-year-old apple-cheeked grandmother, recounts the story in Annelise Orleck's book Storming Caesars Palace: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty, published by Beacon Press in Boston.



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