"If we are successful here we can
march on, step by step; in a like development of other great natural
territorial units within our borders."
Our Documents: The Tennessee Valley Authority
May 18, 1933
President Franklin Roosevelt passed the Tennessee Valley Authority Act on
May 18, 1933, he did more than just create a new partnership between local
municipalities, public utilities, and the federal government; he provided
relief to destitute families in over seven states.
Tennessee River Valley was one of the worst hit areas of the Great
Depression. Reaching into seven states - Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia,
North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi - the Tennessee River
could not adequately support the people in those areas due to poor
irrigation, destructive floods, and unnavigable rapids, particularly in
Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
Tennessee Valley Authority Act created a government agency - the Tennessee
Valley Authority (TVA) - to plan and direct projects throughout the
Tennessee River Valley. The TVA managed water resources by building dams
and other flood control projects, promoted land conservation, produced
phosphate fertilizer to improve farming conditions, and harnessed
hydroelectric power which provided electricity for the first time to
thousands of people.
TVA, the federal government came to the aid of its most needy citizens and
acted out of the best interest for the public welfare. The Tennessee Valley
Authority continues to provide valuable services to residents of the
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