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The Grand Coulee Dam was the first man made structure to exceed, in volume, the Great Pyramid of Cheops.
The Grand Coulee Dam was enough concrete in it to lay a 16 foot highway from new York City to Seattle to Los Angeles and back to new York.
The Empire State Building is one of the greatest lightning rods ever built. Allegedly, when conditions are right and the 86th floor is surrounded by static electricity, if you kiss someone, fire will fly from your lips.
There are 6500 windows in the Empire State Building. All get cleaned twice a month. Window washers qualify for "combat pay."
There was a price to pay for rushing construction on the Empire State Building: fourteen men died. The Chrysler Building, built more slowly, lost only one worker.
The architect of the Empire State Building could not attend the dedication of the building. Instead, he sent a telegram from his ship en route to England. "One day out and I can still see the building."
The Steel used in construction of the Empire State building came from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was still hot when they unloaded it from the trains in New York City.
When John Stevens addressed his workers, he inspired them with this speech: "There are three diseases on this isthmus: yellow fever, malaria and cold feet. And the worst disease of all is cold feet."
Dr. Gorga's work on sanitation at the Panama Canal is credited with saving at least 71,000 lives and some 40 million work days.
Leonardo DaVinci should be credited with the earliest plan for water gate locks. All modern locks follow his plan, even the massive structures at the Panama Canal.
Three years after he'd left the Presidency, Theodore Roosevelt made his boastful "I took the isthmus" statement, revealing the U.S. involvement in the Panamanian revolution. This public revelation so angered the Columbian government that they demanded and received $25 million in reparations from the U.S.
The U.S. government took the Black Hills from the Sioux Indians illigally in 1877. Though a settlement was awarded by the Supreme Court in 1980, the Sioux have refused the money, still hoping to regain their land.
If one of the Presidents were scaled to his head on Mt. Rushmore, he would be 465 feet tall.
Today, the National Environmental Policy Act provides strict guidelines for assessing the environmental impact of a project like Mt. Rushmore. One expert's opinion: after a five to ten year study, the application would be denied.
Gutzon Borglum's father was a Mormon, simultaneously married to two Danish sisters. Gutzon's mother left the marriage four years after her son's birth.
The price of a telegram to Europe in 1866 was $1.25 per word. Today, allowing for inflation, it is 60 times cheaper.
After the failure of the cable Field was villified by the public. Many believed he was a charlatan, aquaintances crossed the street to avoid him.
A portion of Field's original cable was recently pulled from the ocean. Though over 100 years old it could still conduct electricity.
From the time he had the idea for the Transatlantic Cable, it took Cyrus Field just three months to organize a company and raise the money.
Due to the difficulty of crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains, most in Congress originally believed that the Central Pacific would be lucky to meet the Union Pacific at the Eastern California border.
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