A 20-cent commemorative stamp marking the 50th anniversary of the Tennessee Valley Authority was issued May 18, 1983, in Knoxville, Tennessee. The First Day of Issue ceremony was held at the Tennessee Valley Authority Headquarters.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was created by the federal government in 1933 to develop the watershed of the Tennessee River and its tributaries, which had been subject to periodic flooding. The TVA was assigned the broad duties of "planning for the proper use, conservation and development of the natural resources of the Tennessee River drainage basin and its adjoining territory for the general social and economic welfare of the Nation."
On May 18, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved the act, which was designed to help this economically distressed region covering 40,910 square miles and encompassing parts of seven states. This was to be accomplished by providing flood control along the Tennessee River through a system of dams and locks, developing the natural resources of the area, and creating new industry and jobs.
The stamp, designed by Howard Koslow of East Norwich, New York, features the Norris Hydroelectric Dam, the first hydroelectric dam in the TVA system. Named after Senator George Norris of Nebraska, author of the TVA act, it is located on the Clinch River approximately twenty-six miles northwest of Knoxville. Clarence Holbert modeled the stamp.
The stamp was printed in the gravure/intaglio process, with fifty stamps per pane.
Postal Bulletin (April 14, 1983).