The Hoover Dam is a concrete, gravity arch dam. It is located in the Black Canyon of the famous Colorado River, and as it's only 30 miles outside the city, a day trip here is one of the more popular things to do in Las Vegas . The dam is named after Herbert Hoover, who, as Secretary of Commerce, played an instrumental role in the building of Hoover Dam. Later, Herbert Hoover would become President of the United States. In 1981, the Hoover Dam became listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. In 1985, the Hoover Dam was designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Before you take any Hoover Dam tours, you might be interested in learning about some Hoover Dam history. Prior to the building of Hoover Dam, the Colorado River Basin often overflowed its banks when the Rocky Mountain snow melted and drained into the river. These floods were a hazard to the downstream farming communities. In addition to the much-needed flood control, it was thought that the building of Hoover Dam would enable the expansion of irrigated farming. The building of Hoover Dam would also provide for Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California .
Hoover Dam history was not without its conflicts. The equitable allocation of water became a serious issue. Many feared that California would be the first to make use of the dam, and therefore, in accordance with western water laws, would claim the rights to the majority of the water. For this reason, a commission was formed in 1922 that consisted with one representative from each of the Basin states, as well as Herbert Hoover, who was the representative from the Federal Government. January 1922 marked an important month in Hoover Dam history. It was during this period that Herbert Hoover met with the governors of the Arizona , California , Nevada , New Mexico , Utah and Wyoming in order to work out an equitable arrangement for the shared use of the waters from the Colorado River. As a result, the Colorado River Compact was signed on November 24, 1922.
In 1937, the Bureau of Reclamation started conducting Hoover Dam tours through the Hoover Dam plant. If you are planning a Hoover Dam trip, you might want to consider taking one of these interesting Hoover Dam tours. In fact, the Hoover Dam Discovery Tour may well be the highlight of your Hoover Dam trip. On the theatre level of the tour, you will see maps and photos that give an introduction to the history of the Hoover Dam. In Theatre One, you will see a presentation entitled "How the West was Won." This chronicles the contributions of the Bureau of Reclamation. Next, you can take the huge elevators 500 feet down into the wall of Black Canyon. From here, you will be able to walk through the 250-foot long tunnel that was drilled out of rock. At the end of the tunnel, you can view the 650-foot long Nevada wing of the power plant and its eight huge generators.