From the Daily News:
Master builder Robert Moses was in high gear in 1936, effortlessly spending truckloads of federal money as fast as he could, not only finishing up the enormous Triborough Bridge project but also installing splendid new public swimming pools all over town for the pleasure of the good people of New York - nearly a dozen of them, one a week all summer long. Most splendid of them all was the Astoria Pool, on the Queens side of the big bridge, right down in its very shadow. Characteristically Mosesean, the pool was said to be the nation's largest - 330 feet long, 165 feet wide, its 1.8 million gallons of water handily accommodating more than 3,000 bathers - and it was stunningly futuristic, boasting of all things underwater lighting, unheard of at the time. Well, it happened to cost nearly $4 million, in 1936 dollars, but then President Franklin Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration had bucks to burn. Opening day was Saturday the Fourth of July, just a week ahead of the overhead Triborough, and if it was the Master Builder's lot not to be universally loved all his long life, on this particular occasion at least he won the hearts of many thousands of New Yorkers, since, amid the scorchingest summer in years, he ordered the Astoria and the other new pools not to close till midnight.