In 1938, you could travel from New York to Chicago by train in 16 hours. Today on Amtrak the trip takes 21 hours. In the 1930s, Americans rerouted the Colorado River and built the Hoover Dam in 5 years. Boston's Big Dig - which rerouted 3.5 miles of highway - labored to official completion in 2006 after 15 years. The 1,472-foot Empire State Building was built in 410 days in the Depression. Construction of Philadelphia's tallest skyscraper, the 975-foot Comcast Center, began in January 2005 and isn't scheduled to be finished until this coming fall [of 2007].
- Jonathan V. Last