NARRATOR: Before TVA brought plentiful power to the Tennessee Valley, people who had electricity were at the mercy of private power monopolies. These companies offered no rural service...and in large towns the price was more than most anyone could afford. The situation was similar in much of the nation. President Roosevelt claimed high-priced power was strangling the economy.
Roosevelt "I believe that the individual should have free liberty of action to make the most of himself. But I do not believe that in the name of that sacred word, a few powerful interests should be permitted to make industrial cannon fodder of the lives of half the population of the U.S."
NARRATOR:In the Tennessee Valley, industrialist Wendell Willkie was a virtual power baron until TVA came along. TVA sold power at half the price Willkie was charging, which prompted Willkie to take TVA to court. It would become a national test-case on the legality of public-power production.