It’s both(ish). Thanks to the time required to study and build the dam, paired with partisan political posturing fueled by
the Great Depression, the art deco marvel has grown up around two names, both of them official at various times in its history.
The project stretches back to 1900, when the federal government initially began to investigate damming the Colorado River at Boulder Canyon. Although the site was ultimately relocated slightly upstream to Black Canyon, the project was funded by the Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928 and had long earned the nickname Boulder Dam. In 1933, “Boulder Dam” was made official, and in 1935, upon the
project’s completion, the Post Office issued Boulder Dam stamps, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated it as such without ever mentioning the name Hoover.
That is notable because Herbert Hoover—Secretary of Commerce when the dam was approved and president when construction began—is widely considered the government official most responsible for the project’s approval. Unfortunately, he was also president during the first years of the Great Depression, and the blame he shouldered for the country’s economic state made naming the dam after him politically unpopular.
But political climates experience their own global warming. After Hoover’s post-WWII humanitarian efforts in Europe, he emerged as a favorable figure once again, and in 1947, Congress unanimously renamed the dam in his honor. But 1947 isn’t all that long ago, and there are plenty of Southern Nevada residents who embraced the name Boulder Dam and stuck with it, much like they do with Tule Springs.
Where should I watch March Madness?
Exciting games and plenty of betting action compacted into a short time span has made the NCAA basketball tourney a draw on the Las Vegas calendar. If you’re visiting, you’ll want to buckle down in a major sportsbook, where savvy marketers offer pricey packages that include reserved seating, easy betting, food and booze. If you prefer the intimacy of a sports bar with the convenience of on-site betting, Lagasse’s Stadium (in the Palazzo) has taken the concept to a new level of comfort. Locals know Born and Raised is the spot to find fellow UNLV Runnin’ Rebel fans, but if that bar’s far southwest location proves too much of a hike, try Radio City Pizza on Fremont Street. Both joints are owned by natives and encourage Rebel fans to get their red on.