Modern Marvels The Tennessee Valley Authority

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NARRATOR:Ironically, the very river than had brought decades of disaster, could also provide salvation. Water was the valley's greatest natural asset. If properly developed, it could provide a vital route for shipping, and enough electric power to fuel an industrial revolution.

men with blueprints

What residents needed was the money and know-how to harness the river's great potential.

FDR/crowd at convention

They would get it in 1933, as part of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal.

Depression-era tent city/poor people, unemployment line, shanty towns, men on streets

As Roosevelt took office, the entire nation was suffering the same economic misfortunes that had befallen the Tennessee Valley for generations. The Great Depression robbed 15- million people of their jobs, 25-percent of the workforce. Shanty-towns popped-up everywhere, filled with drifters seeking employment. Men paraded through towns to offer their labor for one dollar a week.

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