Remembering the New Deal

“Above All, Try Something” President Franklin Roosevelt

National New Deal Preservation Association (NNDPA)

August 2016 – I have been honored by and readily accepted an invitation from the National New Deal Preservation Association (NNDPA) to join their board.

As a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) researcher and author I am excited to be associated with the NNDPA, an organization whose goal is: to promote the identification, documentation, preservation and education of the Great Depression New Deal visual and performing arts, literature, crafts, structures and environmental projects and programs.

The New Deal – What and When?

It was the Great Depression – America was in the midst of an economic and environmental cataclysm previously unknown in its history.
FDR1933During the 1932 presidential campaign Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) addressed the grinding despair by promising “a new deal for the American people.”

It wasn’t until after his March 1934 inauguration that the true depth of the unemployment, hunger, homelessness and poverty was truly documented. President Roosevelt was facing an unprecedented national emergency; massive in size and scope.

Our Job With The WPA -Workers Handbook - Harry Hopkins Administrator
Our Job With The WPA -Workers Handbook – Harry Hopkins Administrator

These were uncharted waters, the programs and ideas FDR would authorize in an effort to address this crisis were experimental and untested. Boldly stating “Above All Try Something” best describes the New Deal and what he could offer a struggling nation.

Lasting from 1933 – 1943, the numerous and varied New Deal programs, policies and work projects forever changed and bolstered a struggling nation. Over eighty years later we continue to benefit from these remarkable accomplishments.

What Were the New Deal Programs?

Continue reading “Remembering the New Deal”

Researching CCC Art

Between 1934-1937 the CCC art program encompassed the lower forty-eight states. Researching this quiet part of American art history requires extensive travel and investigation. Using a vintage motor home allows the best access to sleuthing within the parks, repositories and other collections that house this New Deal history. Often crucial information is found by going to the source; clues that lead to the art, artists and stories of the CCC.

Traveling History's Trail Together Autumn Years magazine 2015

We are appreciative for this article which draws attention to a quiet part of America art history and our efforts in researching the Civilian Conservation Corps and the New Deal CCC art program.

“Traveling History’s Trail . . . Together” written by Patricia Farrell Delhauser along with the design and layout by Heidi Gross appeared in the Fall 2015 edition of Autumn Years magazine.

The complete article with images may be viewed on my website  along with information on the first in a series that highlights the CCC artists and the CCC art program.


Memo “Coordinate the Plans”

It was the fourth year of the Great Depression. The unemployment spiral continued downwards, millions were jobless. There was a feeling of hopelessness; especially among a young and untried generation. Something needed to be done . . . and quickly.


StLouis_NARA_CCC-Harold Ickes_Records

By the 5th day of his first term, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), 32nd US President was setting in motion what is now recognized as the “single greatest conservation program in American history”.   The Civilian Conservation Corps – CCC . It would become the first and most successful of the New Deal work programs.

By the 1oth day FDR signed four memos with a simple directive – “coordinate the plans”. The memos were addressed to members of his cabinet. George H. Dern, Secretary of War, Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of Interior 1933-1946, Henry A. Wallace, Secretary of Agriculture and Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor 1933-1945.

This historic memo gave the four cabinets members powerful authority and a daunting task . . . they were to investigate and draft legislation which would allow the immediately implementation the first of the New Deal work programs, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

So much was riding on this untried idea.
Continue reading “Memo “Coordinate the Plans””

Records – CCC Enrollment

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollment records are archived at the National Archives & Records Administration in St. Louis Missouri. (NARA-SL). These records may be accessed by either submitting a written request or submitting a NA Form 14136, Request Pertaining to Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Personnel Records.

Requests for Civilian Conservation Corps records should include:

  • Full name used at the time of service (provide exact spelling and include the middle name if known); nicknames (if known); also include spelling variations.
  • Social Security Number (if known)
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Home address (city and state) at time of service (this would be where they enrolled)
  • Parents’ name. If the enrollee was an orphan or a war veteran list the closest relative or dependent.
  • Dates of service
  • CCC Company numbers
  • Location of CCC camp(s) (city and state)
  • Title(s) of position(s) held – What is meant by position or title is their status. Were they a regular- junior enrollee, war veteran, native american, artist. Some CCC enrollees advanced to the position of Leader, Assistant Leader, Company Clerk, Canteen Steward and various titles that were considered part of the technical staff.

Send your  written request to:
National Archives & Records Administration
ATTN: Archival Programs
P.O. Box 38757
St. Louis, MO 63138
General information and questions- 314-801-0800

Allow several weeks for a response. NARA will do a free search. If a record is located you will be contacted with invoice/payment/delivery instructions. Fee information can be found here:  NARA CCC records.

If you plan on visiting the archives in St. Louis it is suggested you submit your request prior. Directions may be found on their website – NARA St. Louis.

When visiting the archives there is no fee to photograph or scan the records, but there is a charge for use of their onsite copy machines.

CCC ART – Artists of the Civilian Conservation Corps – Marshall Davis

 CCC ART – Artists of the Civilian Conservation Corps – Marshall Davis”

Marshall Davis was a young, untried and struggling artist caught up in a dramatic and timely turn of events. It was the Great Depression, his only option for a job was to enroll in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) as a laborer.  Davis wisely brought along his sketchpad and pencils and embarked on a artistic journey that would change his life and our understanding of the three C’s.  Through the discovery of his masterful and whimsical illustrations, letters and records we are provided with a true visual of the real CCC. The CCC was the first and most successful of the New Deal work programs; a massive movement that is recognized as the greatest conservation effort in US history.


Available direct from the author Kathleen Duxbury at; at the New Deal Store   
FDR Presidential Library
bookstore, Hyde Park, New York and online

 “I have a pile of picture material – and thanks to those managing the Art Project and Mr. Hoyt of Happy Days – the time is drawing near when I will have nothing to do but sleep – eat – and draw . . . I assure you I will do my best with every opportunity.”   (Clarence) Marshall Davis

One can easily sense the excitement felt by junior Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollee Marshall Davis on March 24, 1934 as he put pen to paper and wrote those words to Edward Rowan in the Treasury Department  Washington, D.C.  Marshall Davis was about to join the first of the government art programs, the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP).
his assignment was to make a pictorial record of the CCC, a program his knew well.