“Electricity is a modern necessity of life and ought to be found in every village, every home and every farm in every part of the United States.”

– President Franklin D. Roosevelt

rural electrification act

In the early 1930’s, while almost everyone living in urban areas were benefitting from the wonders of modern electricity, only 10% of rural residents had the same benefits.

As part of his New Deal program, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Rural Electrification Administration in 1935.

The agency was backed by the
Rural Electrification Act,
which officially became a law on
May 20, 1936.

The law  benefitted our post-Depression economy through the creation of jobs, provided aid to rural farmers, and stimulated the manufacturing industry.

Rural Electrification Act

By 1939, the REA had established over 400 electric cooperatives, bringing electricity to 25% of rural households.

The NRECA has an AWESOME interactive map that shows the progression of electricity across the US from 1914 –  2010.

rural electrification act

By 1953, over 90% of rural farms
in the United States had electricity.

“Farms are factories as well as homes; therefore the electrification of rural America means more than comfort and convenience. It means profit to farmer, to utility, to appliance manufacturer.”

                           – Morris L. Cooke, Electrifying the Countryside