How Public Power Jump-Started the New Deal

Part way through selecting his Cabinet, President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt departed Washington on Jan. 20, 1933, for a visit to a small, riverside Alabama town named Muscle Shoals. Though few knew it at the time, Roosevelt had big plans in mind: to harness the power of the Tennessee River through massive public construction projects that would provide tens of thousands of jobs and huge purchases of equipment and materials. Such projects would reinvigorate the upper South’s economy and provide hydroelectric power to the region and beyond.

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