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History of the Hoover Dam

July 15th, 2009 by admin

The Hoover Dam was not always named after President Herbert Hoover. It was originally named the Boulder Dam, and it wasn’t until President Harry Truman renamed it during his administration that the dam was named after the 31st President. .

Although proposals for the construction of the dam to alleviate flooding and provide irrigation and electricity to the surrounding states were started before the Hoover administration, Hoover was an integral voice in those proposals during the time he served as Secretary of Commerce. He was responsible for signing the Colorado River Compact which fairly allocated the distribution of the water over which there had been ongoing controversy for twenty-five years. As a mining engineer, he had the knowledge and insight to render the disputes to be settled and move forward with the much needed project, bringing it from theory to practicality during the Coolidge administration that preceded his own.

Throughout his own administration, Hoover’s engineering talent was also responsible for moving the dam from its original location to another where it was finally built. As the largest dam in the world, it is an engineering marvel, not only for its size, but the fact that it was built on a fault to withstand earthquakes measuring up to 8.0 on the Richter scale, makes it a work that is an example of some of the world’s best engineering foresight and skill. Hoover can also be credited with the environmental achievement of the beautiful reservoir, Lake Mead, formed as a result of the dam’s construction, which is also the largest man-made lake in the world.

There has been controversy as to whom should receive the credit for this incredible structure, and although it cannot be disputed that it took the work of many talented engineers and construction workers, some of whom were killed in the dangerous efforts to build the dam, it may never have gotten past the points of controversy to an active phase of implementation if not for Herbert Hoover and his input and, the fact remains that without his involvement, the dam may never have been successfully completed. It is truly a wonder of the world and Herbert Hoover is the wonderful engineer and politician most singly responsible for its creation.

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