Rural Electrification Act

From Ohio History Central

On May 11, 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 7037. This order created the Rural Electrification Administration. In 1936, the United States Congress formally endorsed Roosevelt's action by passing the Rural Electrification Act. Executive Order 7037 and the Rural Electrification Act helped provide Americans living in rural areas with electricity for their homes and businesses.

The Rural Electrification Act was one of President Roosevelt's New Deal programs. Roosevelt created his New Deal to assist the American people during the Great Depression. The Rural Electrification Act initially provided jobs for electricians, as they traveled across the United States wiring homes and businesses for electricity. Roosevelt also hoped that access to electricity would stimulate economic growth in rural areas by encouraging businesses to enter these areas.

The Rural Electrification Act dramatically improved life in rural Ohio. Before the act's implementation, only ten percent of the people living in the southeastern portion of the state had electricity in their homes and businesses. This area principally included Ohio's Eleventh Congressional District. In 1937, the district's representative to the United States Congress stated that the Rural Electrification Act was bringing "much comfort and happiness" to his constituents. By 1939, thanks to the Rural Electrification Act, approximately fifty percent of Ohio's farmers lived in homes with electricity.

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