Michigan historian tells story of Depression-era CCC Boys
Michigan-based historian Bill Jamerson presented Newton residents with an American history lesson Wednesday evening at the Newton Public Library. Through stories and songs, Jamerson told the story of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
President Franklin Roosevelt created the CCC in the 1930s as part of the National Recovery Act, a response to the Great Depression. The “CCC Boys” generally were single men between the ages of 17 and 25, mostly in the lower income brackets. They were sent to rural areas, many times in deep woods in self-sustaining camps. The men were free to leave at any time, but the isolation and nature of the camps made it difficult to leave. The men were fed well, often with local produce, and received new work clothes and shoes, often much better than what they arrived with.
They planted 50 million trees over the course of the program, as well as fought forest fires, built libraries, built state parks, including Backbone State Park, and several others in Iowa. They installed telephone poles, built county roads and many times performed good deeds for the local populace.
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