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This month in Alabama History: May 18, 1933

President John F. Kennedy speaks at Muscle Shoals on TVA’s 30th anniversary, May 18, 1963.

Congress created the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the nation’s largest public power company. Congress charged the TVA, a New Deal agency, with regulating the flow and navigation of the Tennessee River, producing inexpensive hydroelectric power, developing chemical fertilizers, conserving natural resources, and increasing industrial development in the valley. The valley, which was deeply affected by the Great Depression and includes north Alabama, benefited greatly from TVA. Between 1929 and 1950, manufacturing employment in the region grew from 222,000 jobs to 382,000 while income from manufacturing increased by 442 percent. Today, the TVA continues to employ nearly 2,000 individuals and serves more than 504,000 households in Alabama alone.