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Power to Win: Ten Years of TVA, poster, 1945

Congress created the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a federal corporation to control floods, improve river navigation, provide rural electricity through hydroelectric dams, and foster economic development in the South. During World War II, TVA construction projects employed 28,000 people, and its factories produced aluminum and munitions essential to the war effort.

Records of the War Production Board, National Archives and Records Administration

Power to Win: Ten Years of TVA, poster, 1945

The Tennessee Valley Authority

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a federal public power provider, was born of persistent effort by Senator George Norris of Nebraska. Norris introduced legislation in 1926 that became the focus of prolonged congressional debate, especially over whether federal hydroelectric and munitions plants in Muscle Shoals, Alabama—built during World War I—should be privatized or part of expanded federal development. In 1933 Congress established the TVA as a federal entity. TVA-generated power proved crucial in home front defense production in World War II.