Grand Coulee Dam, Chapter 1

It would be the "Biggest Thing on Earth," the salvation of the common man, a dam and irrigation project that would make the desert bloom, a source of cheap power that would boost an entire region of the country. Of the many public works projects of the New Deal, Grand Coulee Dam loomed largest in America's imagination during the darkest days of the Depression. It promised to fulfill President Franklin Roosevelt's vision for a "planned promised land" where hard-working farm families would finally be free from the drought and dislocation caused by the elements.

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The U.S. has dozens of impressive, important, and iconic structures. Which ones have you been to? Which has had the biggest impact on its local community and on the country? Which one is your favorite?



  • Additional funding for this program was provided by

  • The Kendeda Fund