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Education

OPT Emphasizes the Impact of Electricity in the Ozarks

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Ozarks Public Televsion
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Ozarks Public Television explores the evolution of electricity with its newest documentary “Empowerment: The Electrification of the Ozarks.”

The film recounts the creation and significance of electricity and its impact on the community.

It touches on the Rural Electric Association, President Roosevelt’s efforts to create the REA, and the different co-ops throughout the country that enabled electricity in rural areas.

“It’s a wonderful story – how they were organized, how they operated, what the outcome was, and the whole process of electrification,” Tom Carter, programming and production manager for OPT, states.

According to Carter, the documentary was inspired by electrical co-op employees, also personal friends, who raved about how electricity is fairly new to the Ozark area.

“It might surprise people to know that as late as the early 1960s even to the late 1960s, there were areas in the Ozarks that did not have electricity until then,” Carter adds.

OPT interviewed 21 individuals who experienced most of their life without electricity. Carter says their living conditions and daily routines were not much different than someone who lived in the pioneer days.

According to Carter, the documentary will give viewers an understanding what life was like without electricity and how the service came to the Ozarks.

“We’d like to say that they’re educational, they’re entertaining, and they’re part pop culture,” Carter adds.

“Empowerment: The Electrification of the Ozarks” will air on Thursday, July 14th at 8pm, with a repeat broadcast on Sunday, July 17th at 3pm. OPT and KSMU are both a service of Ozarks Public Broadcasting.

For more information about the documentary, click here.