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Grand Coulee Dam, the cornerstone of the Columbia Basin Project, was constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation during the period from 1933 to 1941. Located on the Columbia River in eastern Washington, the dam is 550 feet tall and approximately 5,220 feet long. Its reservoir, Lake Roosevelt, was named for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose administration approved the construction of the dam during his first presidential term. The dam was a major engineering feat, as it was the largest such structure in the United States at the time.

The dam's proponents, such as Rufus Wood, envisioned that its primary purpose would be as a source of irrigation to transform largely barren land into property suitable for agricultural purposes. They also promoted the project as a way ...

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