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Iconic Miss Atomic Bomb Photo Recreated | Events

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Iconic Miss Atomic Bomb Photo Recreated
Events, People
Iconic Miss Atomic Bomb Photo Recreated


The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce honored those who have documented Las Vegas in images for 65 years at the Chamber's Power Lunch on Wednesday afternoon at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

One particular photo, which has become one of the most popular in the collection of approximately 4 million still and video images, has become the icon for the anniversary.  "Miss Atomic Bomb" is a famous representation of the atomic testing era. Photographer Don English took the classic image in 1957 when above-ground tests lit up the night sky in Las Vegas and became another tourist attraction.

In honor of the photo's 55th birthday, the News Bureau recreated the classic image with one of today's most recognizable Las Vegans. "Peepshow" star Holly Madison donned the famous mushroom cloud costume to honor the photo's birthday. The model in the original photo is believed to be Lee Merlin.

English's family, daughter Gina Smith, son Kevin English, and brother Robert English, were on hand to see Madison's recreation of their father's famous photo. They also helped unveil another tribute to his work. Local sculptor Steve Liguori created an 8-foot bronze statue of Miss Atomic Bomb that was revealed at the luncheon, and it will be on display at the Atomic Testing Museum, which has adopted Miss Atomic Bomb as its mascot. 

The News Bureau was created as part of the chamber’s marketing plan to promote Las Vegas as a tourism destination. The staff started by taking pictures of tourists dining, getting married or enjoying themselves by the pool, then sending them to their hometown newspapers for publication - a technique that proved successful in small towns. As their reputation grew, News Bureau photographers were soon snapping shots of the top entertainers of the time and sharing them with news outlets around the world.

Former and current photographers were honored at the luncheon, which also featured a large collection of historic photos and a couple of surprise presentations. 

The News Bureau also shares its collection of iconic Las Vegas with the public through a series of exhibitions throughout the community.  Each exhibit features images and video based on a particular theme from Las Vegas' past. Click here for a list of public exhibitions.

Events, People