Hoover Dam

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  • Topic: Hoover Dam, Colorado River, Nevada
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  • Published : September 16, 2008
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The Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam, also known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete dam built in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. It was built on the border between the states of Arizona and Nevada and it also crosses the border between two time zones, the Pacific Time Zone and the Mountain Time Zone. When it was completed in 1935, it was the world's largest electric power producing facility and the world's largest concrete structure. The dam is located about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. It is named after Herbert Hoover, who played a key role in its construction, first as the Secretary of Commerce and then as the President of the United. Construction of the dam started in 1931 and was finished in 1935, which was more than two years ahead of schedule. After many years after construction, Hoover Dam was officially called a national historical landmark in 1985. Behind the dam lies Lake Mead. This is the reservoir created behind the dam and was named after Elwood Mead, who oversaw the construction of the dam. The Start of the Dam

A commission was formed in 1922 with a representative from each of the southern states and one from the government. The federal representative was Herbert Hoover who was Secretary of Commerce at the time. In January of 1922, Hoover met with the governors from Arizona, Nevada, California, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming to work out an arrangement for dividing the water of the Colorado River. This resulted in the Colorado River Compact which was signed on November 24th, 1922. The compact divided the river in to two halves; an upper basin and a lower basin. The states within each region were the ones who decided how the water would be divided. This agreement, known as the Hoover Compromise, is what sparked the idea for the Boulder Dam Project. The first attempt to get Congressional approval for construction of Boulder Canyon Project was in 1922. Two bills were introduced to the House of Representatives and to the Senate. These bills were introduced by Congressman Phil Swing and Senator Hiram Johnson. It was known as the Swing-Johnson bills. The bills failed to get enough votes but were revised and resubmitted several times afterwards. Eventually the House and the Senate approved the bill and sent it to the President for approval. On December 21st, 1928, President Calvin Coolidge signed the bill approving the Boulder Canyon Project. The initial date for construction was made in July 1930, which by that time Herbert Hoover had become President. The original plans had the site for the dam in Boulder Canyon, so the project was known as the Boulder Canyon Project. The dam site was later moved down the river eight miles to Black Canyon, but they decided to keep the original name for the project. The People Involved

The contract to make the Boulder dam was awarded to Six Companies, Inc. on March 11th, 1931, a combination of Morrison-Knudsen Company of Boise, Idaho; Utah Construction Company of Ogden, Utah; Pacific Bridge Company of Portland, Oregon; Henry J. Kaiser & W. A. Bechtel Company of Oakland, California; MacDonald & Kahn Ltd. of Los Angeles; and the J.F. Shea Company of Portland, Oregon (Hoover Dam). The Union Carbide Corporation was also involved with the project but they were only contracted to help with curing the concrete. Six Companies, Inc. was also hired to build a town called Boulder City for dam workers, but the start date for the dam was pushed forward in order to create more jobs in response to the Great Depression. Because of this the town was not ready when the first dam workers arrived. During the first summer of the construction, workers and their families were assigned to a temporary camp, which was later called Ragtown by the workers, while Six Companies continued to work on the Boulder City. Workers upset with the camp in combination with dangerous working conditions at the dam site formed a strike on August 8th, 1931. Six Companies responded by sending in a riot squad with...
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