National Affairs: Power for Defense

Hell & high water they had endured for seven years and seven months. The work had not stopped night or day except on Christmas, Labor Day, the Fourth of July. Seventy-two of them had been killed. Their monument was in concrete, in the biggest thing men had ever made on earth. Grand Coulee Dam towered 550 feet from the ancient bed of the Columbia River, spanned three-quarters of a mile from bank to bank; behind it the waters had piled up in the beginnings of a lake that one day will stretch 151 miles to the Canadian border.

Even last week, on...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!