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.
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.