Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Feature Page - Something to Write Home About

Here is a found photograph with a bit of a story. A little research turned up a lot of information about a government and society that seems, well IS impossible today.

From Wiki:
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25 as part of Roosevelt's New Deal. Robert Fechner was the head of the agency. It was a major part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal that provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state and local governments. The CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men, to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the United States while at the same time implementing a general natural resource conservation program in every state and territory. Maximum enrollment at any one time was 300,000; in nine years 3 million young men participated in the CCC, which provided them with shelter, clothing, and food, together with a small wage of $30 a month ($25 of which had to be sent home to their families).

The American public made the CCC the most popular of all the New Deal programs. Principal benefits of an individual's enrollment in the CCC included improved physical condition, heightened morale, and increased employability. Implicitly, the CCC also led to a greater public awareness and appreciation of the outdoors and the nation's natural resources; and the continued need for a carefully planned, comprehensive national program for the protection and development of natural resources.

During the time of the CCC, volunteers planted nearly 3 billion trees to help reforest America, constructed more than 800 parks nationwide and upgraded most state parks, updated forest fire fighting methods, and built a network of service buildings and public roadways in remote areas.

The CCC operated separate programs for veterans and Native Americans and African Americans. Though camps were separate, the accommodations and pay were equal.

Responding to favorable public opinion to alleviate unemployment, Congress approved the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935, on 8 April 1935, which included continued funding for the CCC program through 31 March 1937. The age limit was also expanded to 18-28 to include more men. From 1 April 1935 to 31 March 1936 was the period of greatest activity and work accomplished by the CCC program. Enrollment had peaked at 505,782 in about 2,900 camps by 31 August 1935, followed by a reduction to 350,000 enrollees in 2,019 camps by 30 June 1936. During this period the public response to the CCC program was overwhelmingly popular. A Gallup poll of 18 April 1936 asked "Are you in favor of the CCC camps?"; 82% of respondents said yes, including 92% of Democrats and 67% of Republicans.

Despite its popular support, the CCC was never a permanent agency. It depended on emergency and temporary Congressional legislation for its existence. By 1942, with World War II and the draft in operation, need for work relief declined and Congress voted to close the program.

CCC Camp

From “A History of the CCC in Rocky Mountain Park” by Julia Brock:
CCC officials disbanded (camp) NP-3 in October of 1934 and replaced it with NP-7 in the summer of 1935. Although NP-7 was also near Phantom Valley on the western side of the park, administrators chose a different location for the camp. Like NP-3, the superintendent and CCC administrators never expressly identified the campsite. Company 809 manned NP-7 in the summer of 1935; it was not inhabited again until 1938. In the summer of 1938, Company 847 moved into the camp, but again it was short lived and the company abandoned the camp that fall. Company 808 last used NP-7 for housing while constructing NP-12 in the summer of 1940.

Excerpt from “The Archeology of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Rocky Mountain National Park” by William B. Butler, Park Archeologist.:
Five camps were built in the park, along with one outside the park that also did some work in the park. The camps on the east side of the park were NP-1-C in Little Horseshoe Park, and camps NP-4-C and NP-11-C that were located beside each other along Mill Creek in Hollowell Park. Camps across the Continental Divide to the west were NP-3-C and NP-7-C in the same area on Beaver Creek in the Kawuneeche Valley. Camp NP-12-C was also constructed on the west side, but south of the park and the Town of Grand Lake.

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