Nov-21: Bosnian Peace and MGM Fire


Tragedy on the Vegas Strip

The MGM Grand fire occurred on November 21, 1980 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino (now Bally’s Las Vegas) on the Las Vegas Strip. The fire killed 85 people, most through smoke inhalation.  The tragedy remains the worst disaster in Nevada history, and the third-worst hotel fire in modern U.S. history.

On February 10, 1981, just 90 days after the MGM fire, another fire broke out at the Las Vegas Hilton, killing at least five people. Because of the two incidents, there was a major reformation of fire safety guidelines and codes.



Peace in Bosnia

The Bosnian War, the third conflict from the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, came to a close after 3 1/2 years with the Dayton Accords which were initialed on November 21, 1995 after 21-days of negotiation.  The Bosnian War, Europe’s most bloody conflict and first acts of genocide since World War II, claimed the lives of approximately 100,000.

The Dayton Accords came after three weeks of negotiation at Dayton’s Wright Patterson Air Base with Serbian President Slobadan Milosevic, Croatian President Franjo Tudman and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic.  The negotiations were led by Secretary of State Warren Christopher and negotiated Richard Holdbrooke.  The remote and secure location was chosen to remove all the parties from their comfort zone and reduce their ability to negotiate via the media.

The accords reestablished Bosnia as a unified state and but created two federal states – one for Serbs and the other for Bosnians and Croatians.  Twenty years later, all three ethnic groups generally favored the accords.




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