Modern Marvels The Tennessee Valley Authority

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Dykeman: "Being a part of the Tennessee River Valley was the fact that what was given to you could also be taken away. It could take away the land and it did. The rains came, eroded the mountains, it eroded the fields, eroded the pastures. So the rain that was nurturing could also ruin the land.”

hill cabin, woman at kettle, man whittles, man with horse plow

NARRATOR: This was the sorry state of life in the hills of Appalachia. The rains kept people from ever getting ahead. Farmers lived in shacks without electric lights or running water. There were no radios, no refrigerators, no modern conveniences. The tired soil kept people on the brink of starvation.

barefoot kids in one-room school house

Without a sound economy, there was little money for things like education. Children learned just the basics in drafty one-room schools.

doctor visits feverish man in bed

There was little money for adequate health care either. One-third of the valley was stricken every year by a disease unheard of in most of the United States: malaria.

family outside cabin home

In many ways, the Tennessee Valley was 100 years behind the times....and showed little promise of ever catching up.

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Segment Title: A Vision of Progress

Contemporary aerials of river valley, barges and power lines

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