|Atlantic City Travel Guide|
In 1870 the first boardwalk was built along a portion of the beach to help hotel owners keep sand out of their lobbies. The idea caught on, and the boardwalk was expanded and modified several times in the following years. Today, it is several miles long and sixty feet wide, reinforced with steel and concrete.
in 1964 the city hosted the Democratic National Convention which nominated Lyndon Johnson for President and Hubert Humphrey as Vice President. The ticket won in a landslide that November.
Although a small city, it had been plagued with many large city problems, especially poverty and crime. The neighborhood known as the "inlet" was particularly impoverished. In an effort at revitalizing the city, New Jersey voters in 1976 approved casino gambling for the city of Atlantic City. Resorts International then became the first legal casino in the eastern United States when it opened on May 26, 1978. Many other casinos were opened up along the boardwalk as a result. The introduction of gambling did not, however, eliminate many of the urban problems that plagued Atlantic City. Many have argued that it only served to magnify those problems, as evidenced in the stark contrast between tourism-intensive areas and the adjacent impoverished working-class neighborhoods. In addition, Atlantic City has played second-fiddle to Las Vegas, Nevada as a gambling mecca.
In the 1980s, gambling was an around-the-clock business and the rail line with Philadelphia was resumed. Today the city still has social problems and even more difficulty marketing itself as a family destination. While the casino industry has created 45,000 jobs and experienced record profits, little of this money has benefited the town, despite the many promises of prosperity made some 20 years ago. Local officials are lobbying for more attractions unrelated to gambling and the New Jersey legislature has redrafted casino law in order to force casinos to re-invest portions of their profits back into the city. Much like Las Vegas, Atlantic City is targeting a younger crowd with amusements, rides and outrageous architecture in its new developments.
It is also has been the home of the Miss America pageant, which has been held here since 1921. The streets of Atlantic City are also used in the American version of the boardgame Monopoly.