From ghost town tours to "sin city" gambling, a visit to the American desert southwest keeps tourists busy as they escape the heat. One of the most popular tourist attractions is the Hoover Dam. The scale of the dam cannot be understood from just pictures and video. People must see this technological achievement up close to grasp the monumental impact the dam has had on both the environment and the people that call the desert southwest home.
Although President Hoover authorized the construction of the Hoover Dam on June 25, 1929, events would happen in the coming months and years that would bring massive changes to American life. Of course, the biggest of these changes was the Great Depression. Without the New Deal programs put in place by President Roosevelt, the Hoover Dam might never have been built.
For reasons too vast to explore here, The Roosevelt Administration gave the dam the official name Boulder Dam as a nod to the closest city Boulder City. It took an act of Congress to rename the dam to Hoover Dam in 1947. The dam didn't open until more than a year after the official dedication in 1935. Construction of the Boulder Dam put thousands of people to work when they needed it most, a process begun by Herbert Hoover when he was in the House of Representatives.