The Zuiderzee Works were a massive hydraulic engineering project
undertaken by the Netherlands during the 20th century. They were
built to protect land from flooding and to reclaim land in extensive
polders, for farming and housing. Original plans for the works date
back to the 17th century, but it was not until 1913, when Cornelis
Lely became minister of transport, that official planning started.
The single biggest structure in the project was a 32 km long dam, the
Afsluitdijk, protecting the Dutch from the North Sea. But to test the
waters the small Amsteldiepdijk was built first, construction of
which lasted four years and proved to be a valuable learning
experience for the much larger Afsluitdijk. When the Afsluitdijk was
finished in 1932, the Zuiderzee was completely dammed off and from
then on would be called lake IJsselmeer. The inflation-adjusted cost
of the dam would be the current equivalent of $710 million.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
1700 At the Battle of Narva King Charles XII of Sweden defeated
the army of Tsar Peter the Great.
1789 New Jersey became the first U.S. state to ratify the Bill
1969 Vietnam War: The Cleveland Plain Dealer published explicit
photographs of dead villagers from the My Lai massacre in
1999 The People's Republic of China launched its first Shenzhou
Wikiquote of the day:
"Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no
difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have."
~ Oprah Winfrey