From the Archives: Hoover Dam lights up Los Angeles party
On Oct. 9, 1936, electrical power generated at Hoover Dam arrived in Los Angeles. The city celebrated with floodlights and a parade on Broadway.
Writer Thomas Treanor reported in the Oct. 10, 1936, Los Angeles Times:
Astride the power of 115,000 horses, with burning plumes outspread, the Giant of Hoover Dam Electricity rode into Los Angeles last night, casting a heretofore unseen and magnificent glare on more than 1,000,000 persons who crowded the downtown district from end to end.
A tumult of yelling and whistling and screaming greeted the giant with an exuberance and spontaneous feeling that has not been observed since the demonstration the day the World War ended. …
On the site of the old Courthouse at Temple and Broadway, a platform had been erected. On the Courthouse grounds sat 10,000 persons in folding chairs.
The speakers had finished their speeches, the massed chorus had ended its song, and the prayer had been said, when the young woman — Miss Elizabeth Scattergood —stepped foreword.
She read for a moment in a choked voice, a simple little speech full of feeling. Then she reached out her finger and touched a key. There was a tense moment of quiet.
A sputtering sound as the northeast corner of the Courthouse grounds. Brilliant as an explosion, lavender light washed away the half-darkness. In a great wave it swept across to the City Hall, to the Federal Building and to the Hall of Justice and Hall of Records…
The day after this event, the Electrical Age Exposition opened a nine-day run at the Pan-Pacific Auditorium. For the next 50 years, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Southern California Edison operated the Hoover Dam powerhouses. In 1987, the powerhouses were turned over to the Federal Bureau of Reclamation.
For more, check out this Water and Power Associates website for a Construction of Hoover Dam photo gallery.
This post originally was published on Oct. 5, 2013.
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