One hundred years ago Austin Peay had just begun his first term as Tennessee’s governor.
When Peay took office in 1923, Tennessee was more than $3 million in debt and ranked 49th per capita expenditures for government services. The state’s educational system ranked last in teacher salaries and 43rd in per-pupil expenditure. There were few paved state highways and bridges spanned even fewer major rivers.
Governor Peay worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Tennesseans and is credited as “The Maker of Modern Tennessee.” A few of his notable achievements include lengthening the school calendar to eight months, expanding Tennessee’s system of paved roads and convincing the legislature to appropriate funding for the purchase of the East Tennessee land that would become the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Creating State-Chartered Credit Unions
Perhaps the most notable of Peay’s tenure in office was the bill that he signed on March 23, 1923, that established state-chartered credit unions. Tennessee was the 14th state to create state-chartered credit unions.
If you are a Tennessee credit union, we invite you to celebrate the 100-year campaign. Here’s the anniversary toolkit.