Hoover Dam

If nothing else, I’d wish for you to know the purposes of Hoover Dam:
Hoover Dam’s authorized purposes are:
  1. “flood control; improvement of navigation and regulation of the Colorado River;
  2. storage and delivery of Colorado River waters for reclamation of public lands and other beneficial uses exclusively within the United States;
  3. and hydroelectric power production.”

The Hoover Dam is in the middle of two states that also have two different time zones, Arizona and Nevada. When you visit, you stand on two states at the same time, and in two time zones too. For six months they have time difference, for other 6 months the same, since Arizona doesn’t have time savings and they don’t move the clock.


Hoover Dam Workers Images:



How many died building the Hoover Dam?

I said 102, but the numbers vary. For example, some sources cite the number of deaths as 112. But this incorporates incidents that occurred before the dam was authorized, and well in advance of construction. This figure includes the first fatalities from 1922, when Reclamation employees J.G. Tierney and Harold Connelly — who were conducting geological surveys from barges in the Colorado River — fell into the river and drowned. That was 6 years before the dam was authorized, and 8 years before construction began!The official number of fatalities involved in building Hoover Dam is 96. These were men who died at the dam site (classified as “industrial fatalities”) from such causes as drowning, blasting, falling rocks or slides, falls from the canyon walls, being struck by heavy equipment, truck accidents, etc. Industrial fatalities do not include deaths from heat, pneumonia, heart trouble, etc.


These two weeks homework consists of two things.

1) Each of you think of a few questions for next class. We’ll start with a game, boys against girls, and each question will be worth a point, and each right answer another point, and if the question is not answered, the point goes back to the team who made that question. Let’s see who comes up with more questions and right answers.

I will have some questions worth 3 points for each team. If one team doesn’t answer, they’ll bounce to the other team.

If you write notes and information, you can take them to class in order to answer questions.

2) Read this post about next week’s lesson.


To help you think of questions about today’s lesson, the Great Dam, or Hoover Dam. I’m attaching the video we saw in class here:

There’s 4 short videos here you can watch with your family

The second video, Deconstructing Hoover Dam, is a mine of information to prepare those questions.

And this site is loaded with questions and their answers. And yes, Noah, it says how many years (and you can calculate the days) it took to finish it, and the exact day it was completed.

How long did it take to build the dam, power-plant, and appurtenant works?

belonging; pertinent.
“secondary buildings that are appurtenant to the main building”

Five years. The contractors were allowed 7 years from April 20, 1931, but concrete placement in the dam was completed May 29, 1935, and all features were completed by March 1, 1936.

How many visitors do you think this dam receive each year?

The Bureau of Reclamation has conducted tours through the Hoover Dam and powerplant since 1937. Today, close to 1,000,000 visitors a year take the tour and millions more drive across the dam. Location: The dam is located 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas.


To learn about Art Deco, there’s an interesting PDF short document here. I will print a couple of copies of that PDF, and anyone interested can take it home and read it. You can find questions for next class from that document too.

I’m highlighting some of that article here:



Hansen also designed the plaque commemorating the 96 men who officially died during the construction of Hoover Dam, as well as the bas-relief series on both the Nevada and Arizona elevator towers. The plaque, originally set into the canyon wall on the Arizona side of the dam, is now located near the winged figures.

It reads:
“They died to make the desert bloom. The United States of America will continue to remember that many who toiled here found their final rest while engaged in the building of this dam. The United States of America will continue to remember the services of all who labored to clothe with substance the plans of those who first visioned the building of this dam.”


The Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is an arch bridge in the United States that spans the Colorado River between the states of Arizona and Nevada.

More facts about Hoover Dam: (Bonnie, I think I was wrong when I said it provided for 13 states, it may have been 3 States for sure, Arizona, southern California, and southern Nevada).

Presently, Hoover Dam can produce over 2,000 megawatts of capacity and a yearly average generation of 4.5 billion kilowatt hours to serve the annual electrical needs of nearly 8 million people in Arizona, southern California, and southern Nevada.


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