Five days after his 1933 inauguration, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called an emergency session of Congress to install one of his most popular New Deal programs, the Conservation Civilian Corps.

The program targeted unemployed young men, veterans and American Indians hard hit by the Great Depression. The CCC boys received free education, healthcare and job training and were required to send a portion of their wages home to their parents. The boys also

Throughout its nine-year existence, the program put millions to work on federal and state land for the ‘prevention of forest fires, floods, and soil erosion, plant, pest, and disease control.’ Nationwide, enrollees planted three billion trees and came to be known as the Tree Army.

The photos above are from the Oregon Public Broadcast’s Oregon Experience: CCC. Oregon hosted dozens of CCC camps all over the state, where enrollees fought fires on the Tillamook Burns, helped build ski areas on Mt Hood, built telephone and electrical wires, and improved farm lands.

If you don’t know too much about the CCC, start here. If you find it as interesting, which you will, and want to read more, then go here.

MP3: Reverend Gary Davis – Down By The River


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3 Responses to CCC

  1. Erik Wallace May 14, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    I wonder why similar programs like the CCC and WPA haven’t been restarted by the current administration. With an aging infrastructure and plenty of people out of work it seems like a reasonable idea.

    Any recommendations on the book list you linked to?

  2. CM May 14, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Funny you posted this cause I ran into them while on a recent backpack trip into the Sespe.

  3. Geoffrey Holstad May 15, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    the segment on the CCC in Ken Burns’ National Parks documentary is awesome

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