The Dead Men in Hoover Dam
"What people think is, is more important than what actually is so."Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln should know. A lot of people think he participated in the
Lincoln-Douglas debates when he ran for president, that Ann Rutledge was
his great lost love, and that he wrote the Gettysburg Address on the back
of an envelope. None of which is true.
From Betsy Ross's mythical needlework to Ronald Reagan supposedly never
getting the girl in the movies, our history is filled with "facts" that
everyone knows are true- except they aren't.
Such folklore seems to grab the public imagination more tenaciously than
the usually more interesting reality. Year after year, stories with no
substance are repeated and retold while the facts remain buried.
In Nevada a number of tall tales have become accepted as truth and have in
some cases resisted all efforts at correction. Here is one of the best
Workers Buried in Hoover Dam. This myth is the despair of Hoover Dam tour
guides. Someone in every group taking the tour is sure to ask how many men
are buried in the concrete of the gigantic dam. According to the story, on
several occasions during the dam's construction in the 1930's a worker
slipped, fell, and was covered by concrete as it was being poured. Unable
to stop the cascade of concrete before the worker suffocated, supervisors
had no choice but to allow the concrete to continue flowing- covering the
worker and sealing him in the dam. This happened seven times during
construction, according to the tale's most popular version.
Actually, the dam was poured in small sections, so about all a fallen
worker had to do to get his face clear of the rising concrete was to stand
up. Officially, 96 dam workers died of various causes, but none were buried