President Roosevelt took bold action to deal with the terrible economic problems the country was facing. The U.S. was in the middle of the Great Depression, and millions of people were out of work. In his first 100 days in office, Roosevelt proposed many new government programs to create jobs, assist the poor and the elderly, and help farmers. These programs, including Roosevelt’s plan to create TVA, were known as the New Deal. Read more about Franklin D. Roosevelt and TVA.
Arthur Morgan was an engineer who believed in cooperation between government and business. Read more about his dream of an ideal community.
Harcourt Morgan was a biologist, horticulturist and entomologist. He believed in a dynamic democracy. Read how his farming experience paid off at TVA.
David Lilienthal supported regional planning and fought to keep the newly-created TVA free of politics. Read more about Lilienthal.
Norris was a progressive and liberal U.S. politician. He served Nebraska for five terms each in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. He and President Roosevelt shared a vision of what the Tennessee Valley could be. His strong belief in public power and rural electrification led to his creation of the Norris Bill which later became the TVA Act. The Act was passed as part of FDR’s New Deal. Watch a video of an early TVA employee telling how TVA changed lives.
Shown here with TVA Chairman Aubrey “Red” Wagner, Owen was familiar with Washington politics and with the Muscle Shoals, Alabama region from her work with the League of Women Voters. She came to the attention of TVA Director David Lilienthal in October 1933 as a possible fit for the position of TVA’s Washington D.C. Representative. She remained in charge of the Washington office until her retirement in 1966. Lilienthal even wrote her father and tell him what an asset his daughter was to TVA.
Dr. Bond earned a master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in sociology and economics from the University of Southern California. He worked as a personnel and training official at TVA from 1934 to 1938. He then held various positions in academic administration and the United States Agency for International Development (US-AID) where he worked in Afghanistan, Tunisia, Sierra Leone and Malawi. Read about Bond’s connection to the TVA Quilt.
Dr. Hawley was a dendrochronologist, a scientist who studies the rings of trees to see dates and changes in the environment over time. When TVA began work on Norris Dam, Dr. Hawley studied the trees and climate history of the Norris basin. She spent two years in East Tennessee collecting hundreds of tree samples in an effort to look back in time further than had been thought possible. Some of her samples were from red cedar trees that date back to the 1300s. Read how TVA is still using Dr. Hawley’s work.