Cecil Whig - - ACCENT -

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.

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