Lead: On May 18, 1993, in the early twilight of the New Deal, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Act creating the Tennessee Valley Authority. It was among the most successful and controversial initiatives of his Presidency.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Tennessee River covers the heartland of southern America. It meanders through seven states and from ancient times has brought with it riches, topsoil and a steady supply of fresh mountain water, but the river also brought the curse of severe periodic flooding. Navigation to the upper river was blocked by a series of sandbars and rapids at Muscle Shoals, Alabama. As early as 1824 national leaders were attempting to develop the Valley. In that year John C. Calhoun proposed to President James Monroe that the blockage at Muscle Shoals be removed. Other attempts to win support for improvements on the Tennessee were unsuccessful, until the first administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt brought together a determined coalition of progressive Republicans and Southern Democrats who devised a massive plan for the uplift the states along the 650 mile river.

 

 

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