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The power industry expands

Electricity Today

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FARMS GET WIRED

Excerpts from interviews with people who remember life before electricity:

Rural Electrification Administration

On May 11, 1935, an executive order from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) to bring electricity to America's rural communities. A year later, Congress passed the Rural Electrification Act. At that time, only 10 percent of the nation's rural homes had access to electricity. The REA began increasing the number of American households with electricity by offering interest-free loans to state and local governments, as well as to farmers' cooperatives, and nonprofit organizations. By the early 1970s about 98% of all farms in the United States had electric service.

On October 14, 1994, Congress terminated REA and created the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to direct federal programs for developing electric, water, and telecommunications infrastructure in rural America. To date the RUS program has provided over $56 billion in rural electric loans to thousand of communities in rural America.

Sources: United States Department of Agriculture Web site http://www.usda.gov/rus/electric/bd/pgm2.htm and the Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition. Columbia University Press. 1993.


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THE POWER INDUSTRY EXPANDS | ELECTRICITY TODAY | FEATURED INTERVIEWS | TRANSCRIPT

HISTORY TIMELINE | ARTS & CULTURE TIMELINE | NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE | CLASSROOM | HISTORY LINKS | SITE INDEX

HOME: The Story of Maine on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network was made in partnership with the Maine State Museum. Major funding was provided by the  Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency committed to fostering innovation, leadership and a lifetime of learning. Additional funding provided by Elsie Viles.
Major funding for previous seasons of  HOME: The Story of Maine was made possible by a grant from Rural Development, a part of the USDA. Special support is provided by The Maine State Museum and Northeast Historic Films.