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November 6, 2015

06 Nov 1934: Memphis joins the TVA

On this day in 1934, Memphis became the first city to join the Tennessee Valley Authority. The TVA had come into existence the year prior as part of FDR’s New Deal.

TVA carpenter at work, 1942. (Library of Congress; retouched via Wikimedia Commons)

Some facts about the TVA, which is known for its dams in the Cumberland River system:

  • Its headquarters are in Knoxville
  • It is the largest public power agency in the United States
  • Today it operates 10 coal-powered plants, 29 hydroelectric dams, and 3 nuclear power plants, among other facilities
    • The first dam completed by the TVA, Norris Dam, was named for Nebraska senator George Norris
  • 200,000 workers built its original infrastructure
  • Seven states fall under its influence, for both power generation and flood control
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