Tennessee Valley Authority Act


The Tennessee Valley Authority Act, signed into law by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, created an independent public corporation, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), charged with controlling the Tennessee River's floodwaters, improving the river's navigation, assisting area farmers, and creating cheap electric power as well as with the daunting task of improving the lives of the people living within the Tennessee River valley. The valley, consisting of nearly 41,000 square miles and portions of seven states, was home to almost three million of the poorest people in the United States—most living without electricity or indoor plumbing. Never before had the federal government attempted a public works program as broad and encompassing as the TVA.

On June 3, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson had signed the National Defense Act, which called for the creation of a facility to produce nitrates for manufacturing munitions during the war and fertilizer during peacetime. The site...

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The Tennessee Valley Authority Act (National Archives and Records Administration)

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