May 25, 1971
Pres. Richard Nixon traveled to Mobile to symbolically start construction of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Commonly known as the Tenn-Tom, the 234-mile waterway connects the Tennessee and Tombigbee rivers, allowing commercial navigation from the nation’s midsection to the Gulf of Mexico. Construction of the Tenn-Tom required the excavation of 310 million cubic yards of earth, more than the Panama Canal, and took 12 years to complete. The waterway is administered by the US Army Corps of Engineers and encompasses 17 public ports and terminals, 110,000 acres of land, and another 88,000 acres managed by state conservation agencies for preservation and recreational use.