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Tennessee Valley Authority, TVA, 1934

To house workers for the Norris Dam, named after Senator George W. Norris, the TVA built a new town, also named Norris. A permanent, planned community, Norris was a “garden city,” integrating green spaces and small houses supplied with low-cost electricity. Norris remained a government town until 1948, when it became privately owned and then an incorporated municipality.

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

Tennessee Valley Authority, TVA, 1934

Harnessing Nature, Generating Jobs

Congress created the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 1933 as a federal corporation to control floods, improve river navigation, provide electricity and foster economic development in the South. Nebraska Senator George W. Norris proposed the idea in 1921 and pursued it until President Franklin D. Roosevelt made it part of his New Deal program for economic recovery. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the TVA had an immense impact on jobs, industry, housing and the environment.