The signing of the Smith-Lever Act by President Woodrow Wilson May 8, 1914, was the result of over six years of work by Land Grant Colleges and many organizations nationwide to get aid and support for Extension work at the State and County levels. The act was introduced by Senator Hoke Smith of Georgia and Representative A. F. Lever of South Carolina to expand the vocational, agricultural, and home demonstration programs in rural America. This particular law met with a wide approval in the existing Extension community because it built upon the programs that were already working at the local level and gave them additional funding which allow them to continue and grow.
You can learn more about the history of the creation of the Smith-Lever Act and how it relates to 4-H by reading chapter 11, pages 118-132 in “The 4-H Story” by Franklin M. Reck. This is available in digital format at: http://4-HHistoryPreservation.com/books
To learn more about the Smith-Lever Centennial celebrations and see the celebration tool-kit: http://www.extension100years.net/en/administration/about_us/chancellors_office/extension/toolkit/