Today in Texas History – March 9

thamanjimmy: History of the Rural Electrification ...

From the Annals of the Power Grid – In 1936, the first power line built under the program of the Rural Electrification Administration was powered up.  The 58 mile line near Bartlett brought electricity within reach of nearby farms and ranches.  The REA was created under President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 with the goal of bringing electrification to rural areas.  When created only about 2 percent of the farms and ranches in Texas (and about 10 percent nationally) had access to electricity. The REA was primarily a lending agency under its enabling statute that was cosponsored by Texas Rep. Sam Rayburn. The Bartlett line was made possible by a $33,000 loan to a group of farmers.  It is almost impossible to overstate the impact of the REA in raising the standard of living for vast numbers of rural residents who had never had access to electricity.  By 1965, only 2 percent of Texas farms and ranches were still without electricity.

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