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Hoover Dam, originally known as Boulder Dam, is located in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, along the Arizona-Nevada border. It’s a concrete arch-gravity dam that impounds Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the United States of America.
See the fact file below for more information on the Hoover Dam or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Hoover Dam worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Hoover Dam Facts
- Standing at 726 feet high and spanning 1244 feet in length, Hoover Dam was the largest dam in the world at the time of its completion.
- The dam was built to tame the floods of the Colorado River, provide irrigation and drinking water to the states of Arizona, Nevada and California, and to generate hydroelectricity.
- It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1985 and was recognized as one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders in 1994. Hoover Dam is a major tourist attraction, with some 7 million visitors each year.
- In the late 1890s, attempts were made to divert the waters of the Colorado River to irrigate the Imperial Valley. The Alamo Canal, also known as the Imperial Canal, was constructed.
- In 1905, the Colorado River broke through the canals causing a deluge that created the Salton Sink. The raging river destroyed crops and homes and damaged highways and railroads. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) was tasked with coming up with a solution for this catastrophe.
- In 1922, bureau director Arthur Powell Davis presented the Fall-Davis report, outlining a plan for a multi-purpose dam to be built in Black Canyon.
- The dam would control flooding, provide irrigation and generate hydroelectric power, which would be sold to recover the cost of construction.
- On December 21, 1928, President Calvin Coolidge signed an act authorizing the Boulder Canyon Project – named so because a study had recommended the Boulder Canyon of Colorado to be the site of the dam, instead of the Black Canyon.
- On July 3, 1930, then-President Herbert Hoover signed the first appropriation bill for the project.
- On January 10, 1931, the BOR made the project’s bid documents available to interested parties.
Six Companies, Inc. and Construction
- The blueprints of Hoover Dam detailed a monumental structure taller than any dam in the world that no single contractor had the resources to make a qualified bid for.
- Six Companies, Inc., was a joint venture of construction companies composed of Henry J. Kaiser Co., Bechtel Corporation, Macdonald and Kahn, Utah Construction Company, Morrison-Knudsen, Pacific Bridge Company and J.F. Shea Co.
- It was led by Harry W. Morrison of Morrison-Knudsen, with Frank Crowe as the General Superintendent. Crowe, an employee of Morrison-Knudsen, was America’s leading dam builder.
- On March 4, 1931, the BOR opened the sealed bids. The government contract was awarded on March 11, 1931, to Six Companies, Inc., winning with the lowest bid of $48,890,955.
- Six Companies, Inc. built Boulder City six miles from the dam site where the workers and their families would relocate to.
- Construction of the Hoover Dam began during the Great Depression, a year after the stock market crash. Many hopeful laborers came looking for jobs but only around 5000 were hired.
- It required 5 million barrels of cement, 45 million pounds of reinforcement steel and concrete weighing 6.6 million tons.
- The first step of construction was to divert the water around the dam site. Four diversion tunnels, 56 feet in diameter and a quarter mile in length, were built.
- The laborers worked in dangerous conditions with 140-degree F temperatures in the tunnels, which were also filled with dust and carbon monoxide. The conditions prompted the workers to hold a six-day strike in August 1931.
- After two of the tunnels were complete, temporary cofferdams were built using the excavated rock from the tunnels. On November 14, 1932, water began flowing through the diversion tunnels.
- Two permanent cofferdams were then built, one upstream and one downstream to provide a dry working area.
- High scalers cleared the canyon walls that would contain the dam. They used steel bars and 44-pound jackhammers to known down loose material and drill powder holes.
- Excavation then began for the dam. Men labored in shifts, 24 hours a day to reach solid bedrock.
- The design of the dam called for a series of an estimated 215 vertical columns, which were constructed block by block by pouring concrete into square forms. In the summer of 1935, concrete pouring was completed.
- A total of 8.5 million pounds of dynamite was used for blasting the foundation of the dam. 50,000 machines and tools were used.
- During the course of the dam’s construction, 112 people died.
- On September 30, 1935, a formal dedication ceremony for the dam was held. 10,000 people came to hear President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech.
- Hoover Dam is named in honor of President Herbert Hoover during whose administration the construction of the dam began, however, a three-cent stamp bearing the name “Boulder Dam” was issued by the United States Post Office Department to mark the occasion.
- On March 1, 1936, construction of all the features of the Hoover Dam was complete, two years ahead of schedule and under budget.
- In 1947, a joint resolution of Congress changed the name of the dam back to Hoover Dam.
Hoover Power Plant
- The Hoover Power Plant has 17 generators. More than 20 million households from Nevada, Arizona and California rely on its power.
- The construction of the Hoover Dam resulted in the creation of Lake Mead, which forced the communities in the area to evacuate.
- It is America’s largest man-made reservoir, running 150 miles long, 500 feet deep and has 10 trillion gallons of water
Hoover Dam Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Hoover Dam across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Hoover Dam worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Hoover Dam, originally known as Boulder Dam, which is located in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, along the Arizona-Nevada border. It’s a concrete arch-gravity dam that impounds Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the United States of America.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Hoover Dam Facts
- Hoover or Boulder
- Filling the Hoover
- Six Seven Search
- Dates of the Dam
- Hoover Who?
- Hoover Numbers
- United Dams of America
- Notable Names
- Breaking Hoover News
- Sending Love from Hoover
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Link will appear as Hoover Dam Facts & Worksheets: http://www.grabillautomotive.com - KidsKonnect, July 25, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.