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President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Message to Congress on the Tennessee Valley Authority, April 10, 1933

During his first hundred days in office, President Franklin D. Roosevelt worked expeditiously with Congress to enact a wide range of legislation, including the creation of a Tennessee Valley Authority. He asked Congress to charter a federal corporation “with the flexibility and initiative of a private enterprise” to oversee conservation efforts and economic modernization in the Tennessee River basin.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Message to Congress on the Tennessee Valley Authority, April 10, 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Message to Congress on the Tennessee Valley Authority, April 10, 1933

Harnessing Nature, Generating Jobs

Congress created the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 1933 as a federal corporation to control floods, improve river navigation, provide electricity and foster economic development in the South. Nebraska Senator George W. Norris proposed the idea in 1921 and pursued it until President Franklin D. Roosevelt made it part of his New Deal program for economic recovery. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the TVA had an immense impact on jobs, industry, housing and the environment.