Kick of the Week: Hoover Dam

We stopped by the Hoover Dam on our way to Las Vegas, NV during our Desert Southwest road trip. Although we didn’t have time for a tour, it was well worth a stop simply to appreciate the sheer magnitude of the dam.

A few fun facts about the Hoover Dam:

  • Hoover Dam is 726ft (221m) high, 45ft (14m) thick at the top and 660ft (201m) at the bottom, and is larger than the Great Pyramid of Cheops.
  • Hoover Dam is filled with 3.25 million tons of concrete, enough to pave a strip 16ft (5m) wide and 8in (20cm) thick from San Francisco to New York City.
  • If the heat produced by the curing concrete could have been concentrated in a baking oven, it could have baked 500,000 loaves of bread per day for three years.
  • From April 1931 to March 1936, 21,000 men labored on the project, removing 5.5 million tons of dirt and rock from the construction site. The lowest wage for a Hoover Dam worker was 50 cents an hour; the highest was $1.25.
  • For six years after the construction of the dam – while Lake Mead filled – virtually no water reached the mouth of the Colorado river.
  • Two winged figures, 30ft (9m) tall and made of bronze, stand on the Nevada side of the dam. They rest on a black marble star chart that represents the stars’ positions on the day the dam was dedicated, September 30, 1935.
  • Boulder City, formerly the town where dam workers were housed, still does not allow gambling within town limits, a regulation imposed in the 1930s. It is one of only two town in Nevada to prohibit gambling (Panaca is the other).
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