Rural Electrification Administration
In 1935 Franklin D.
Roosevelt created the REA to provide low-interest loans to
consumer-owned electrical cooperatives in rural areas too remote to be
served economically by private power companies. Electrification
revolutionized rural life in America. In 1985 when this stamp was
issued the REA had provided nearly $60 billion in loans which brought
power to 99% of all rural residents. For a state like South Dakota it
has brought indoor plumbing, washing machines and refrigeration to say
nothing about access to computers which otherwise would have been
impossible. It is scarcely possible to imagine life in South Dakota
without the REA, although most of us do not recognize its impact.
The stamp had its first day of issue at Madison, South