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The Hoover Dam Produces Electricity
October 9, 1936

The Hoover Dam had to be carved out of nature itselfHave you ever had a school project that took a long time to finish?  The Hoover Dam took almost five years to build.  It stands 726 feet tall and is 660 feet thick at its base.  Many dams are built to control flooding, but the Hoover Dam is hydroelectric. (“Hydroelectric” means using water to produce electricity.)

The Hoover Dam uses the water in the Colorado River to produce electricity.  On October 9, 1936, this huge project began to generate electricity for people in Nevada, Arizona, and California.

During the Great Depression, many Americans did not have jobs. The construction of the dam created work for thousands of people who came from all over the country. When the Hoover dam was built in Nevada, the federal government created an entire town so the workers and their families had a place to stay. It was called Boulder City. Still, workers faced very hard conditions such as safety hazards and worked in temperatures that could be hotter than 120 degrees!

The Hoover Dam tamed the wild Colorado River, supplied electricity to people in the West, and provided jobs to many others. However, there were disagreements about what to call the dam. Some people called it the Boulder Dam. Others called it the Hoover Dam. In 1947, Congress settled the question by officially deciding to name it the Hoover Dam. (Herbert Hoover was the thirty-first president.)

Although building it was dangerous and hard work, many people saw the huge concrete dam as a source of hope. What other great accomplishments could you compare this to?



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