Las Vegas is an odd wonderland fiasco dreamt up by gangsters.
The Hoover Dam, well.....
"Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the US states of Arizona and Nevada. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin Roosevelt. Its construction was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives. The dam was controversially named after President Herbert Hoover.
Since about 1900, the Black Canyon and nearby Boulder Canyon had been investigated for their potential to support a dam that would control floods, provide irrigation water and produce hydroelectric power. In 1928, Congress authorized the project. The winning bid to build the dam was submitted by a consortium called Six Companies, Inc., which began construction on the dam in early 1931. Such a large concrete structure had never been built before, and some of the techniques were unproven. The torrid summer weather and the lack of facilities near the site also presented difficulties. Nevertheless, Six Companies turned over the dam to the federal government on March 1, 1936, more than two years ahead of schedule."
And then from Wonderclub.com
The Seven Forgotten Modern Wonders of the World
"The dam builders came in 1931. A handful of men did the planning and designing of the dam. There were another 16,000 workers who did the actual building. Many of these men had families, wives and children, who came with them.
Why would so many people come out to what was, at the time, a raw, undeveloped and dangerous place to live? Essentially, because of the terrible economic times, the Depression, that was then affecting almost every part of the United States. People came from every part of the country to work at Hoover Dam.
The way of life so many people had to endure -- camping out in tents or shacks along the Colorado River, some for as long as three years, without clean drinking water, toilets, or protection from the extreme weather -- makes these "common" people the real heroes of Hoover Dam.
96 men were killed in industrial accidents while building the dam. Several dozen others died from the heat or carbon monoxide poisoning while on the job, and hundreds of other people, wives and children of the workers, died from heat, polluted water or disease.
Because of Hoover Dam, the Colorado River was controlled for the first time in history. Farmers received a dependable supply of water in Nevada, California and Arizona. And Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix and a dozen other towns and cities were given an inexpensive source of electricity, permitting population growth and industrial development. "
OK That Was a Little Lazy
We barely got out of Vegas.
We barely made it to the dam and the tour. We arrived with less than a minute before the last tour.
The dam is impressive.
The height is crazy and vertigo inducing.
It was an incredible undertaking and pretty awe-inspiring.
It was a job-creator. And inspired a nation.
And yet knowing what I know now about dams and other human tinkers with nature, I have to wonder about the ramifications of such a massive project.