Engineering prowess was on full display on July 7, 1930.
On this day, construction on the Hoover Dam began. When it was built, the Hoover Dam, located on the Colorado River on the Arizona and Nevada border, was the largest dam of its time as well as one of the largest manmade structures in the world. It took five years and about 21,000 men to construct.
Today, the Hoover Dam is the second highest dam in the country and the 18th highest in the world. Each year, it generates enough energy to serve more a million people.
Another form of ingenuity also came to life on this day in 1852. July 7 is the birthday of Dr. John Watson, Sherlock Holmes’ trusty sidekick in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s timeless book series. Ironically, Conan Doyle also died on this date in 1930 at age 71.
A more dramatic death occurred on July 11, 1804 when Vice President Aaron Burr shot his longtime rival Alexander Hamilton in a duel in Weehawken, N.J. Hamilton died of his wounds the next day but his life has garnered renewed interest thanks to the smash-hit Broadway musical, “Hamilton,” which won 11 Tony Awards last month.
Though America celebrated Independence Day on Monday, another important Revolutionary War-era event happened in nearby Philadelphia on July 8, 1776. On that date, the Liberty Bell tolled to summon citizens to the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.