THE NORTHEAST CORNER 419 Tishomingo stones, and produced a magnificent park with trails and cabins that remain virtually unchanged. Another federal program, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) impacted the region not only by supplying electricity but with many outreach programs. TVA helped eliminate malaria, built test farms to improve soil, and sent mobile libraries into the countryside. John Rankin, who replaced Private John Allen as the member of the House of Representatives for the northeast region, developed the idea of public ownership of a power system. Even before TVA was created, he had attempted to tap into the power being generated by the Wilson Dam at Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Rankin supported the passage of TVA legislation and encouraged the organization of county electric associations across his district. When authorized, TVA bought out the Mississippi Power Company in northeast Mississippi and made use of the power associations to begin the distribution of power to rural areas. Rankin arranged with President Roosevelt to make Tupelo the first city to receive TVA power. President Roosevelt visited Tupelo in November 1934 and spoke to a crowd of 75,000 to celebrate the connection between the region and TVA. An historian looking at northeast Mississippi in 1952 concluded that TVA most affected Tishomingo County because Pickwick reservoir, part of the TVA system, covered 15,000 acres of its land and forced 160 families to relocate to make way for the lake. But at the same time TVA employed 400 farmers part-time clearing the land, involved over half the farm families in demonstration projects, and delivered electricity to 98 percent of the county’s farms. The historian observed that as a result of the TVA experience the farmers improved the appearance of their homes and began to “take a new interest in life.” George McLean acquired The Tupelo Journal during these years and used the paper to strongly support TVA. During the first six months that TVA supplied power to the city, Tupelo residents increased their power consumption 83 percent. Northeast Mississippi demonstrated its appreciation to President Roosevelt and the New Deal by giving him 96 percent of their votes. Neither the limited amount of industrialization World War II did more to break the cycle of poverty than any other period in Mississippi’s history.