Date: Mon, 31 Oct 1994 04:11:12 -0800 From: James Beniger Subject: Re: Boulder Dam Both "Boulder Dam" and "Hoover Dam" have become so common in American culture, as iconic for "dam," that I'd bet much of the population--possibly a majority--thinks they are two different dams. I understand that, in the 30's, local Democrats referred to the dam as "Dam(n) Hoover." I'd like to hear Thomas Clark clarify/elaborate the sentence "Local media are careful to make the distinction between Boulder and Hoover" (see below), which is intriguing but unclear in context, at least to me. -- Jim ******* On Sun, 30 Oct 1994, THOMAS CLARK wrote: > On Sun, 30 Oct 1994, Martha Howard wrote: > > > When it waas first constructed, it was known as Boulder dam and that's > > how I knewit when I wasin grade school (in the 30's). > > MH brings up an interesting variant that we are tracking in the Nevada > Language Survey. By the 40's, school children were being taught "Hoover > Dam," and probably snickering at the current furor over Clark Gable's > "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." During construction, the dam > was called "Boulder Dam" in spite of the fact that it was being built in > Black Canyon rather than in Boulder Canyon (the original site). > > Boulder Highway, leading southeast out of Las Vegas, takes one to Boulder > City, where I live a few days a week (a welcome respite from Las Vegas). > The dam was part of the huge WPA machination and thus known to every > construction worker in the western world, who passed the information onto > all of his (this is the 1930's) progeny. > > When the dam was dedicated, the mood of the country (or at least the > Congress) had shifted, and the name of the project was changed from > Boulder to Hoover. > > This created local problems. Hoover was not PC, according to local > Democratic bosses. It appears there may have been a social split -- > Democrats refused to call the damn thing Hoover. > > Today, in Nevada, you can take a socio-political reading (we think, > hypothesis on the way) by whether young people use "Boulder Dam" or > "Hoover Dam." People from families who have been in Clark County (Las > Vegas area) for more than 25 years use "Boulder." Newbies use Hoover, > unless they have been "reached." Local media are careful to make the > distinction between Boulder and Hoover. Interestingly, when local > politicians want to make a point with SENIOR CITIZENS, a voting bloc, > they will carefully refer to Hoover Dam projects. But that sometimes > backfires. Recently, a refurbishment of the Visitor's Center cost about > three times what the entire dam project cost. > > Factual: About half of native Clark County residents use Boulder to > refer to the structure. > > Anecdotal: My children grew up here. They use Hoover. They are Mostly > Republicans. > > We can control our sinuses better than we can our children. > > It gets more detailed and complex, but MH was right when she said > > >whether damn has a bad connotation confuses me. > > > Cheers, > tlc[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] >