History of Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam

Visit the United States’ tallest arch dam, Hoover Dam and learn about the Hoover Dam history, facts and the troubles of the labourers who worked on the construction. Hoover Dam, bordering Nevada and Arizona, is a Depression-era engineering marvel with a rich Hoover Dam history, wonderful design and sturdy construction. The dam lures millions of visitors from all parts of the world who stand in admiration looking at its majestic architecture. The history of Hoover Dam dates back to the torrential rains in Nevada that led to the flooding of the Colorado River. This instigated the need for a dam across the river at Boulder Canyon and President Herbert Hoover initiated the construction of the Boulder Canyon Dam. According to the history of Hoover Dam, the construction of the dam started in 1931 and was successfully completed in 1936. The dam facilitates guided tours to the power plant and trip to the observation deck from where you can witness the picturesque view of the scenery.

Hoover Dam Facts

  1. Hoover Dam was built to control the flooding of the Colorado River, supply hydroelectric power and supply domestic water to the nearby cities.

  2. The Hoover Dam is a massive structure that is 726 feet tall, 1244 feet long, 660 feet thick at the base and 45 feet thick at the top.

  3. The Hoover Dam project created a new city called ‘Boulder City’ to house the 5000 workers involved in the construction of the dam.

  4. Nearly 138 workers have lost their lives during the dam construction out of which 96 deaths were due to accidents.

  5. According to the Hoover Dam history, the construction of Hoover Dam started in April and a heatstroke came during June that summer that affected the labourers.

  6. In 1939, the US officials imposed restrictions on the boats allowed into Black Canyon as they learnt of the Nazis plan to blow off the Hoover Dam.

  7. The 4 million cubic yards of concrete used for the construction of Hoover Dam is much more than what was used in the last 27 years which is a huge act in the history of Hoover Dam.

  8. A large refrigeration system was designed to speed up the cooling process of the concrete.

  9. The high-scaler Oliver Cowan saved the life of engineer Burl R. Rutledge who fell from the canyon wall.

  10. Hoover Dam ranked as the tallest dam in the world for 20 years.

Brief History of Hoover Dam

March, 1905

The heavy rains of 1905 lead to the Colorado River breaking into the Imperial Valley and creating an internal sea.

May 18, 1920

Congress proposes the Kinkaid Act to investigate the problems in Imperial Valley due to the rains.

February, 1922

The ‘Problems of Imperial Valley and Vicinity’ report suggests a proposal to construct a dam over the Colorado River at Boulder Canyon.

November 24, 1922

Representatives of the seven states that form the Colorado River Basin sign the Colorado River Compact treaty in New Mexico. Congress passes a bill to approve a high dam and canal later in 1922.

December 21, 1928

President Calvin Coolidge passes the Boulder Canyon Project Act which is an imperative treaty in the history of Hoover Dam.

June, 1929

Herbert Hoover takes responsibility of the negotiations between the seven basin states of Colorado River Compact as Arizona does not approve of the Boulder Dam project.

March 11, 1931

The Bureau of Reclamation arranges the bid for the construction of Hoover Dam which was won by Six Companies for $48,890,995.

November 14, 1932

The Colorado River is rerouted around the dame site.

June 6, 1933

Concrete is poured over the Hoover Dam site for the first time thus marking an important day in the Hoover Dam history.

February 1, 1935

The Hoover Dam starts enclosing the water of Lake Mead.

May 29, 1935

The last concrete was poured on the dam.

September 30, 1935

This is a significant day in the Hoover Dam history as President Roosevelt declares that the dam of Boulder Canyon will be renamed as the Hoover Dam.

April 30, 1947

President Harry S. Truman signs the official resolution to rename Boulder Dam to Hoover Dam hence ending the glorious Hoover Dam history.


When was Hoover Dam built?

The construction of Hoover Dam started on April 20, 1931 and it took up to five years for completion. The concrete placement on the dam was completed on May 29, 1935. All other features and facilities including the power plant, inspection tunnel, and observation platform were completed by 1936.

Why was Hoover Dam Built?

Hoover Dam history suggests that the dam was built mainly to control the seasonal flooding of the Colorado River. It was later used to supply hydroelectric power, provide water supply to the neighbouring cities and facilitate irrigation.

Who built the Hoover Dam?

Hoover Dam was built by architects Henry J. Kaiser and Gordon Kaufmann of Six Companies. The construction started during the administration period of President Herbert Hoover.

Why do they call it Hoover Dam?

According to the history of Hoover Dam, it is named so to commemorate the efforts and contributions of President Herbert Hoover who initiated the construction of the dam.

What was the Hoover Dam called originally?

The history of Hoover Dam tells that the dam was initially called the Boulder Dam or Boulder Canyon Dam after Herbert Hoover left office.

What is the best way to book Hoover Dam tours?

The best way to book your Hoover Dam and Power Plant tours is to book them online in advance from our website so that you can reserve your slot in advance without having to stand in long queues at the venue.


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