Las Vegas, NV – Working at Global Chamber® headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona affords me the opportunity to visit famous sites in the American Southwest far away from home, but even in the most remote places in the West, I found ties to Russia.
Last week we started a regional trip in Las Vegas, city of fun, money and lights. It seemed at first there was nothing to do there unless you’re a casino player, but the first impression was wrong. There are plenty places of interests for every person and budget - museums, beautiful architecture and shopping centers - Las Vegas has everything you need to have fun!
Then we went to the Grand Canyon - one of the great wonders of the world. The view is fascinating and wonderful: beautiful boundless desert, grand vistas, cacti and elk - amazing contrasts and truly beautiful nature. Surreal….and if you haven't seen the Grand Canyon in the sunset - you must do it! It is an unforgettable view.
Hoover Dam - our last stop – is on the border between the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona, which impounds Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States. Like many things in the West – it’s BIG and grand. It was also interesting to know that Herbert Hoover, after whom the dam is named, 31st President of the United States, managed one of the Russian Czar's Cabinet Mines located in the Altai Mountains before the Russian revolution. A little known historical fact!
In addition, President Hoover also provided aid to the famine-stricken Russian people in 1921, despite opposition of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge and other Republicans. When asked if he was not thus helping Bolshevism, Hoover retorted, "Twenty million people are starving. Whatever their politics, they shall be fed!”
Soviet author Maxim Gorky wrote to Hoover: 'Your help will enter history as a unique, gigantic achievement, worthy of the greatest glory, which will long remain in the memory of millions of Russians whom you have saved from death'.
And so it is sometimes with leadership. Doing great deeds against the flow can be risky but rewarding, and impact lives and history. The actions by President Hoover were not soon forgotten by the Russian people who were helped by the generosity of the United States. And so it is today, that when countries help each other, and their people, long term relationships are nourished and improved. And so this is a good lesson for me as I am in this special program at Global Chamber, and for all of us as we live in this interconnected world.
- Sasha Shitova, State Department Fellow working at Global Chamber®
Note: Sasha has returned to Russia and is a Global Advisor for Global Chamber®