Gaston: FDR inaugurates the Chickamauga Dam

President Franklin Roosevelt, in car, was at Chickamauga Dam's dedication on Sept. 2, 1940.

On Labor Day, Sept. 2, 1940, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt arrived in Chattanooga by train and rode in a motorcade to the Chickamauga Dam. Accompanying him were First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Gov. Prentice Cooper and Sen. Kenneth D. McKellar, who introduced the president to a crowd of 30,000 people.

The 71-year-old McKellar, who was running for a fifth term, introduced the president as the author of the Tennessee Valley Authority. In his speech Roosevelt characterized "this chain of man-made inland seas" as the South's Great Lakes, opening "a new artery of commerce [and] new opportunities for recreation."