TVA Heritage

These in-depth history columns tell about the vision, the personal and political struggles that made the Tennessee Valley Authority great—and that transformed the lives of the 9 million residents of the Tennessee Valley from ones of poverty to prosperity.

The Great Experiment

“In this enormous machine the balance wheel is human.” In a poetic 1933 article for Fortune magazine, author James Agee introduced the newly formed Tennessee Valley Authority to the world at large.

Home-Front Defenders

When World War II came and the men of the Tennessee Valley answered their country’s call to service in the armed forces, a select corps of women stepped up to serve TVA.

Books for the People

In honor of National Library Week, we look back at a time in which TVA provided books to enrich the lives of dam builders and people in remote communities throughout the Tennessee Valley.

Bringing the Land to Life

In the 1920s and ’30s, much of the soil in the Tennessee Valley was worn out to the point of worthlessness. Potent fertilizers developed by TVA helped bring the land back to life.

Greening the Valley

In the 1930s, TVA turned selected farmers into experts on erosion control and asked them to pass the idea along to their neighbors. Before long, agriculture in the TVA region was on the road to recovery.

Norris: An American Ideal

New urban theorists are hard at work designing the town of the future. But Norris, Tennessee—built by TVA over 80 years ago to house workers building the nearby dam—beat them all to the punch.

TVA History

From the poverty of the 1930s to the industry and modernization of the 60s right up to the prosperous, thriving present, read about the history of the Tennessee Valley and get a decade-by-decade view of the ways in which TVA has helped to shape it.