Through the Lens:Construction of the Garrison Dam

Early television captures the construction of the Garrison Dam, begun in 1947. As the original narrator of the video says, it’s “dirt moving at its best!” Color film from the Corps of Engineers shows construction, and President Dwight Eisenhower is shown at the dam's dedication. The newly formed, 200-mile-long Lake Sakakawea became a popular attraction for land-locked North Dakotans, who were "short on nautical experience."

Source

Through the Lens: North Dakota as Seen by Television in the 1950s (1986); State Historical Society of North Dakota

Grade Level

3 - 12

Subject Matter

Social Studies, Science

Related Media

  1. Red River Land: Building the Garrison Dam: Part 1 of 2
    Video: A 1960s educational film about the reasons for the construction of the Garrison Dam.
  2. Red River Land: Building the Garrison Dam: Part 2 of 2
    Video: A 1960s educational film about the reasons for constructing the Garrison Dam.
  3. Dakota Datebook: Garrison Diversion
    Audio: A brief history of the plans to dam the Missouri River in North Dakota.
  4. Dakota Datebook: Name Change
    Audio: The history of how the Garrison Reservoir became known as Lake Sakakawea.
  5. Dakota Datebook: Mrs. Byron Wilde
    Audio: Anna Wilde was a Native American activist who wanted a "square deal" for the tribes being relocated when the Garrison Dam was built.
  6. Dakota Datebook: The Two Sanishes
    Audio: When the Garrison Dam was built the people of Sanish, a town in the flood plain, decided to form New Sanish.
  7. More Precious Than Gold: Garrison Dam
    Video: Some see the Garrison Dam project as a great success, some see it as a great failure.
  8. More Precious Than Gold: Garrison Diversion
    Video: The diversion at the Garrison Dam was supposed to provide irrigation for agriculture.
  9. Prairie Pulse: The Promise of Water
    Video: A look at landscape photographer Wayne Gudmundson's book on the Garrison Diversion Project titled, "The Promise of Water"