Grand Canyon

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GRAND CANYON, a gorge of the Colorado River, from four to eighteen miles wide and in places more than

a mile deep, winding some 280 miles from Marble Canyon, near the Arizona-Utah line, to Grand Wash Cliffs in northern Mohave County of Arizona.

The first written description of the canyon is Pedro de Castañeda's account of a small group of Spanish explorers who found it after hearing stories of a large canyon during a visit to the Hopis in 1540. The canyon was little known until Lt. Joseph C. Ives and Dr. J. S. Newberry visited its lower end in April 1858 and brought back the first geological description of the region. Maj. John Wesley Powell made the first journey down the Colorado River through the canyon with nine men, 24 May30 August 1869. Congress created Grand Canyon National Park, 673,575 acres, on 26 February 1919, and two years later the completion of a railroad from Williams, Arizona, facilitated tourist travel to the canyon. In 1932, an additional 198,280 acres encompassing Toroweap Point of the canyon was set aside as the Grand Canyon National Monument. In 1966, the Sierra Club successfully spearheaded a drive to prevent the erection of a dam at the lower end of the canyon.


Morehouse, Barbara J. A Place Called Grand Canyon: Contested Geographies. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1996.

Pyne, Stephen J. How the Canyon Became Grand: A Short History. New York: Viking, 1998.

Rufus Kay Wyllys / c. w.

See also Colorado River Explorations ; Explorations and Expeditions: Spanish ; National Park System ; Tourism .

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Grand Canyon ★★★ 1991 (R)

Diverse group of characters is thrown together through chance encounters while coping with urban chaos in L.A. The main focus is the growing friendship between an immigration lawyer (Kline) and a tow-truck driver (Glover) who meet when Kline's car breaks down in a crime-ridden neighborhood. First-rate performances by the cast make up for numerous moral messages thrown at viewers with the subtlety of a brick. Sometimes funny, sometimes preachy became more relevant in light of the violence that exploded in L.A. during the summer of ‘92. 134m/C VHS, DVD . Randle Mell, Sarah Trigger, K. Todd Freeman, Jack Kehler, Marley Shelton, Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, Steve Martin, Mary McDonnell, Mary-Louise Parker, Alfre Woodard, Jeremy Sisto, Tina Lifford, Patrick Malone, Mary Ellen Trainor; D: Lawrence Kasdan; W: Lawrence Kasdan, Meg Kasdan; C: Owen Roizman; M: James Newton Howard.

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Grand Canyon Deep gorge in nw Arizona, USA, carved by the Colorado River. It is 450km (280mi) long, and varies from 6km (4mi) to 18km (11mi) in width. With its magnificent multicoloured rock formations revealing hundreds of millions of years of geological history, the Grand Canyon is one of the great wonders of the natural world.