In the midst of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set the stage to tame the mighty Missouri River. Winding through America's heartland, the Missouri was wildly unpredictable and characterized by extremes. Spring floods brought destruction to much of the Great Plains. Periods of severe drought caused enormous suffering and economic loss. Navigation on the waterway was nearly impossible. For six long years, workers faced risky and dangerous conditions 24 hours a day to build what was the largest dam in the world. The prospect for a regular paycheck overrode any second thoughts about the fierce winters and intensely hot summers that prevail in Montana's Badlands. The pay was low, and housing inadequate. Most lived in boomtowns that sprang up almost overnight, often in small tarpaper shacks with no electricity or running water. Sixty men were killed during construction, six of whom are entombed deep in the dam. Thousands of men and their families faced some of the toughest and most rewarding times in their lives to build a part of American history. This one-hour documentary chronicles the Fort Peck Dam, which was bold in design, daring in execution, and far-reaching in its effects.
Length: 56 minutes