Our Documents:
Tennessee Valley Authority Act

"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

When 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.

The 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.

The 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.

With the 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 Tennessee Valley.

bullet Franklin Roosevelt's Message to Congress Suggesting the Tennessee Valley Authority , April 10, 1933
bullet Franklin Roosevelt's Message to Congress on the Tennessee Valley Authority , January 15, 1940
bullet Photographs of the Tennessee Valley Authority

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