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[Detail] Coos Bay Bridge, North Bend, Oregon.

Gold Rush | International Expositions | Civilian Conservation Corps | Slavery | Atlantic City, New Jersey

Civilian Conservation Corps

In 1933, the first piece of major legislation in Franklin Roosevelt's Civil Works Administration established the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC). This organization enlisted young men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five to preserve and protect the nation's natural resources, and to reduce unemployment. Many projects focused on forestry, flood control, soil erosion, and forest fires. Enrollees built new roads, reservoirs, and fire towers and planted millions of trees in U.S. parks. A search on the phrase, Civilian Conservation Corps produces examples of projects undertaken between 1933 and 1942 such as Ohio's Vesuvius Dam and Shawnee Fire Tower.

Textual accounts of these projects are informative and particularly useful for those surveys that don't include photographs or measured drawings. For example, the description of the Camp Cleawox Organizational Tract describes the area's use of "typical Depression-era rustic architecture of natural wood and stone for a northwest forest environment," (page 2). (The CCC officially ended shortly after the start of World War II.)

  • What sorts of projects were done by the CCC?
  • Why do you think that national forests were used as worksites for the CCC?
  • Who do you think benefits from efforts to protect the nation's natural resources?
  • Why do you think that natural wood and stone were common building materials for "Depression-era rustic architecture"?
  • What might these choices suggest about the goals and values of the CCC projects?