The Civilian Conservation Corps in Alabama, 1933–1942
A Great and Lasting Good
Publication Year: 2008
The Civilian Conservation Corps was one of the better known and most successful of the New Deal programs following the Great Depression. The causes of the Great Depression have been addressed and debated from a variety of perspectives through the years. However, the effects explained in terms of human suffering leave little room for debate. By March of 1933, there were more than 13.6 million unemployed, and more than 200,000 of them were wandering the country looking for work. Homes and families were fractured. President Roosevelt proposed to put 500,000 unemployed men from cities and towns into the woods to plant trees, reduce fire hazards, clear streams, check erosion, and improve the park system all across America. With unprecedented speed, national legislation was written, passed, and funded, creating a myriad of programs—referred to as alphabet projects—in hopes of generating useful work and necessary paychecks and creating a “great and lasting good” for the American public.
CCC projects in Alabama would initially employ 20,000 men with projects in all 13 state forests and seven state parks. This volume traces in great detail the work projects, the camp living conditions, the daily lives of the enrollees, the administration and management challenges, and the lasting effects of this Neal Deal program in Alabama. Through archives, government documents, and more than 125 interviews with former enrollees of the CCC, Pasquill has recounted the CCC program in Alabama and brought this humanitarian program to life in the Alabama countryside. It was a truly monumental win-win situation emerging from a national and international economic tragedy.
Published by: The University of Alabama Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
Preface and Acknowledgments
The Civilian Conservation Corps, the CCC, was one of the better known New Deal programs during the Great Depression. As a child of children of the Great Depression, I grew up hearing references to “hard times.” As a youth playing in the woods of New Hampshire, I saw flood control dams and other projects constructed during this era. When I began my career with ...
The Civilian Conservation Corps was one of many programs created by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. President Roosevelt addressed Congress on March 21, 1933, asking for a program to put men to work on natural resource projects. He proposed “to create a civilian conservation corps to be used in simple work, not interfering with normal employ-...
1. Alabama, the Great Depression, and the New Deal
The Great Depression was the worst economic collapse of the twentieth century and, arguably, one of the worst in the history of the United States. Its causes can be found in the post–World War I markets and the prosperity of the 1920s. It has also been explained as a naturally occurring phenomenon, compared to the weather, with natural cycles (McElvaine 1993:26–29). ...
2. The Civilian Conservation Corps in Alabama
On March 9, 1933, President Roosevelt met with the secretaries of war, interior, and agriculture; the director of the budget; the Solicitor of the Department of Interior; and the judge advocate general of the army. He proposed to put 500,000 men from cities and towns into the woods to plant trees, reduce firre hazards, clear streams, and check erosion. Each of the six ...
3. The CCC and the National Forests in Alabama
In April 1933, the only national forest in Alabama was the Alabama National Forest in Winston and Lawrence counties; it had been proclaimed a national forest by President Woodrow Wilson on January 5, 1918. On April 6, 1933, the Moulton Advertiser reported that Representative Edward B. Almon, from Moulton, and Representative William B. Bankhead, ...
4. The CCC and the Soil Conservation Service
By the 1920s, soil erosion had been recognized both nationally and in Alabama as a serious problem that needed attention. County agents and agricultural workers had begun working on terracing and soil erosion control. In 1929, Congress appropriated money for the Department of Agriculture to study the problem, and 10 experimental stations were developed across the ...
5. The CCC and the Tennessee Valley Authority
On May 18, 1933, President Roosevelt signed the Tennessee Valley Authority Act, creating one of the most innovative programs in the New Deal. The TVA had a broad mission of power production, navigation, fiood control, malaria prevention, reforestation, and erosion control (www.tva.gov 4/12/02). ...
6. The CCC and the Alabama State Parks
A system of state parks in Alabama began in the 1920s. In 1925, Governor William W. Brandon appointed a State Park Committee (Burleson 1975:27). On September 27, 1927, the state legislature passed the State Land Act, giving the state authority to establish state parks. On December 22, 1930, the Birmingham News announced the establishment of the Talladega County ...
7. The CCC and State Forests, Private Forests, and Others
Although the State Commission of Forestry was established in 1907, little was accomplished owing to a lack of funding. The commission was revitalized in 1923 by the provision of legislative funding and the appointment of Colonel Page S. Bunker as state forester (Burleson 1975:29). On March 14, 1939, the Department of Conservation Act of 1939 created the Alabama De-...
8. Summary: A Great and Lasting Good Accomplished by the CCC
The Civilian Conservation Corps touched many aspects of the natural resources in the State of Alabama, helping establish state parks, national forests, state and private forests, and checking erosion across the state. Between 1933 and 1942, an average of 30 camps operated in Alabama, with the major work carried out in forest and soil resources (Cohen 1980:147). ...
Appendix A. CCC Camps in Alabama
Appendix B. CCC Camps in Alabama by Enlistment Period
Appendix C. CCC Camp Newspapers in Alabama
Index of Names
Index of Places
Index of Topics
Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 20 Illustrations
Publication Year: 2008
OCLC Number: 609844518
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