|Some CCC "boys" rose to the extraordinary challenge
of stringing telephone lines across the Grand Canyon, and they did it successfully. One, Roy Lemons, who lived in Belen, NM, prior to his death, shared his harrowing experiences as part of this New Deal project, and became active in the CCC alumni Chapter 141 in ABQ as well as the NNDPA Board of Directors.
Chicago's Lake Shore Drive Drawbridge
Both these bridges were built under the New Deal's Public Works Administration (PWA).
New York's Triborough Bridge
between Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan
Camp David, the well-known U.S. Presidential retreat, was originally built by the WPA and CCC as a camp for crippled children. In 1942, when President Roosevelt visited it, he renamed it "Shangri-La" and found it a great cool place 60 miles from the heat of Washington, D.C. - in the days prior to air conditioning. President Eisenhower renamed it after his grandson, and it continues to serve our presidents and their guests.
YOU CAN HELP!
Donate, share your New Deal Stories, photos and calendar listings, or host an event through our Speaker's Bureau.
Other Important Quality Information Sources:
New Deal Network
New Deal 2.0
A Project of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute
FDR American Heritage Center
FDR Presidential Library and MuseumThe Frances Perkins Center
This Center is the former home of Frances Perkins, the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet. She was Roosevelt's U.S. Secretary of Labor, good friend and pioneering woman in and ahead of her time. A champion of the New Deal,her family and non-profit organization are now carrying out her ideals and concerns.Library of Congress - New Deal Programs Resources
This website is the creation of NNDPA Board Member, Brent McKee. Its mission is to help preserve the history of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and to promote the idea of a new WPA for today's long-term unemployed population.
Barbara Bernstein's colorful website is a collaboratively assembled and maintained guide to surviving public art that was created under the New Deal programs, 1933-1943. This well-established effort focuses on compiling a reliable and complete list of murals, sculptures, frescoes, mosaics, and other works that still exist in public buildings throughout the US.
National Park Conservation Association
Roosevelt Institute College Campus Network
PBS Segment on Lost New Deal Art
State & Local New Deal Studies
Keith Joseph Volanto, Ph.D, in the Social Sciences Division at Collin College in Plano, TX, has written many books, articles and essays on the New Deal, particularly in Texas. Call or e-mail him for his newest publication: State and Local New Deal Studies Bibliography
CCC Research Information
Resettlement Town Network
Beginning in 1933 and continuing on, there were at least 99 Resettlement Towns created primarily in or near existing towns across the nation for families needing to move from places where making a living was no longer possible. Some of those towns celebrated their 75th anniversary in 2012. Are there others celebrating this year? NNDPA is seeking current information about these communities, some now suburbs of other towns, with the hope of linking the towns together - since most are not aware of the other communities with similar histories. We seek your input about any of the towns listed in our Resettlement Town Network on our website.
You're U.S. is a national non-profit organization that recently launched its five year artistic and documentary campaign to capture the portraits and life stories of 150+ unique individuals across America, in the spirit of legendary American documentary artists Studs Turkel and Walker Evans.
Access to their digital library (oral histories, biographies, and portraits) is available to reputable historical organizations. The group also provides talks about portraiture/ craft in America, and records oral histories for local and state historical organizations.
Emile B. Klein (646) 248-2979
New Deal Cafe
If you're in the Greenbelt, Maryland area, the New Deal Cafe, part of the historic Roosevelt Center, is the perfect place to dine, enjoy music, artwork and much, much more.
The Alaska State Fair -
In 2012 the State Fair featured two films in a 1936 barn, devoted to Matanuska Colony and New Deal history throughout the Fair. Two links provide more information:
Alaska Far Away - Facebook
State Historical Societies in the United States
An excellent site with links to local, state and national historical societies, and beyond. Many of these links may have information about New Deal programs and people. A "must bookmark this site" for any history buff, scholar or researcher.
Author Joy McDaniel
grew up in Irwinville, Georgia,
one of the New Deal Resettlement towns, and has written a terrific book about the town's history and its families. Available from yawnspublishing.com
The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era, 2012. Hardcover. Washington Post Reporter Michael Grunwald
reveals the story behind President Obama's $800 billion stimulus bill and argues that it is one of the most important and least understood pieces of legislation in American history. Grunwald compares the effects of the Recovery Act to the original New Deal, both for its economic impact and its long-term benefits.
She Was One of Us: Eleanor Roosevelt and the American Worker
by Brigid O'Farrell, Cornell University Press, October, 2010.
Although born to a life of privilege and married to the President of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt was a staunch and lifelong advocate for workers and a proud member of the AFL-CIO's Newspaper Guild for more than 25 years. "She Was One of Us" tells for the first time the story of her deep and lasting ties to the American labor movement.
Public Art and Architecture in New Mexico 1933-1943: A Guide to the New Deal Legacy
by Kathryn A. Flynn
This book is an expanded version of Kathy's 1995 book about New Mexico's New Deal treasures - increased to 90 towns, 400 WPA schools, updated artist biographies and color photographs of art and architecture. A Bigger and Better Book!
More suggested reading is on both the NNDPA and The Living New Deal websites:
Books & Other Media
Living New Deal Reading List
National New Deal
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
San Francisco, California
Christopher Breiseth, Ph.D., Secretary
Ticonderoga, New York
Manitou Springs, Colorado
State College, Pennsylvnia
Jan Marfyak, Treasurer
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Harvey Smith, President
Roosevelt, New Jersey
Vice President position currently vacant
Kathy Flynn, Executive Director
P.O. Box 602
Santa Fe, NM 87504
NNDPA notes the passing oftwo very distinguished "CCC Boys"
"Uncle Cliff" Hammond
March 9, 1915 - January 29, 2013
New Mexico's most favorite "Uncle Cliff" transitioned from his earthly home to his heavenly home on Jan 29, 2013 after a most adventurous 97 years. Born near Martinsville, Illinois March 1915, he persevered in a farmer family of ten and joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) at 18.
He also rode the rails throughout the country like many of the young men of that time looking for work and food. Towards the end of the Depression, he owned and operated a grocery and liquor store in California prior to joining the Army Air Corps in 1941 and trained as an air traffic controller. After marrying in 1942, the couple moved back to Illinois and tried farming and other ventures in Kansas and Idaho but on his 43rd birthday he moved to Albuquerque and started his new career with the amusement park he established as Uncle Cliff's.
At a recent CCC alumni meeting, he noted he had to change the name just to "Cliff's" since he is now not just an uncle but a great grandfather. Hammond was recently featured in a PBS series, "The American Experience: The 1930s", which featured his CCC experiences along with his fellow CCC buddy, Vicente Ximenes, also of Albuquerque. Both have been active members of the CCC Alumni Chapter 141 in Albuquerque since its creation.
Carl Orrin Walker
June 26, 1915 - January 5, 2013
New Mexico's oldest living "CCC Boy," Carl Orrin Walker died January 5, 2013 in Santa Fe. He was 99 ½ years old and was holding out for 100 but then he really wanted to join his deceased wife, Meraldine, of 78 years.
Carl joined the CCC at the age of 20 in Oct. 1933 and started out in a tent camp in Davis, OK. There he did conservation work in Turnerfalls State Park. After three months he was given a supply sergeant's job which meant he went from $30 a month to $45. His camp, No. 1806 moved to New Waverly, TX and then to Santa Fe where they became part of camp No. 833.
By 1936 he started doing clerical work for the National Park Service at the offices in the old federal courthouse. He recalls watching the construction of the large National Park Service Building in Santa Fe made from 28,000 adobe bricks made from the excavated soil on the site while he was keeping the personnel records and other clerical of the CCC until he was hired to do it for the Park Service in late 1936. He stayed in Santa Fe until 1942 when the NPS sent him to a variety of places (Zion, Lake Mead, Grand Canyon)for the next 26 years. He wrapped up serving as the chief of the Division of Budget and Finance at the NPS headquarters in Washington, D.C. and frequently noted that "he started at the bottom and worked his way up to the top."
Returning to Santa Fe in 1970 with wife and family, and he became active in the national CCC alumni association (NACCA)and strongly supported the groups effort to get Congress to reinstate the corps as the American Conservation Corps. He, along with about every other CCC Boy, always said "it was one of the best things to happen to a lot of us and we still don't forget it.
Appeal for Special Donation
NNDPA has an opportunity to purchase a valuable set of 50 first edition State Guidebooks done as part of the WPA Federal Writers Project activities. We would like to add this collection to our New Deal library and archives. The cost is $1,500.00.
Toward this end, we are asking our members to contribute to a special fund to acquire this historic set. Donations of any amount will be appreciated to get us to the $1,500. If you are so inclined, please contact Kathy Flynn (below).
Volunteers are Needed
Volunteers are needed in the NNDPA office in Santa Fe. Anyone who is interested in this era of American history would feel like they were in heaven as a volunteer doing any number of activities - researching answers to questions that come in; helping with archiving documents from all over the country; helping with the New Deal library; marketing of taped interviews of NM New Deal participants now deceased and documentaries. Give us a little time or a lot - we will appreciate it.
Call or E-mail Kathy Flynn at:
We continue working to improve our communication and outreach, and want to hear from you about how best you want to hear from us.
The purpose of this e-newsletter is to inspire the conversation about New Deal issues - their impact then, their significance now - and to expand this dialogue in the public arena.
Beyond this, we also plan to send brief, periodic "E-BULLETINS" to alert you to certain timely events and pressing issues that may be of particular interest or concern to you. We invite your comments and information on pertinent New Deal stories for publication in future newsletters.
"Creativeness often consists of merely turning around what is already there. Did you know that the idea of selling right and left shoes to the public was thought up only a little more than a century ago?"
-- Bernice Fitz-Gibbon
"Little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil. Our great hope lies in developing what is good."
-- Calvin Coolidge
Again we have both things on the New Deal front to celebrate and to be very concerned about with the start of the new year. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the launch of the Civilian Conservation Corps and for that matter the beginning of the New Deal.
FDR's first piece of legislation during the Hundred Days was the CCC - a program focusing on the needs of youth. (Their plight would soon be presented in the film Wild Boys of the Road which graphically portrayed the hard times faced by Depression-era young people.) In contrast to our national helplessness in the face of the growing poverty rate among children, FDR created a program that helped not only young people and their families, but constructed a lasting national and local park infrastructure and helped ameliorate the environmental disaster of the time - The Dust Bowl.
On the other hand the attempts to reduce service and cut living wage jobs in the U.S. Postal Service are signs of the broader move to impose austerity measures throughout our social fabric. House conservatives are pushing measures to dismantle and privatize the USPS, but these efforts are finally gaining national attention and disdain in cities and towns that love their post offices and appreciate their postal workers. Communities across the country are joining with elected officials to oppose the efforts to close or relocate postal offices.
This newsletter is full of additional details and links. Join with us in our work to commemorate and preserve the treasured projects of the New Deal.
Many historic U.S. Post Offices around the country have been sold or are being offered for sale, and many are closing. Many are New Deal created structures with their historic and fine art murals all in jeopardy. Public buildings and public art created for and by the people between 1933-43 are main street landmarks that have served the country on a daily basis over a number of generations. Is your post office on the block? Join NNDPA in their attempts to preserve these American treasures of service.
For the most complete information about the U.S. Postal Service and the issues that threaten this uniquely American institution:
This is a really important website that houses a wealth of information about the U.S. Postal Service, and the fight to prevent the closing of many of these offices, particularly in communities where they are most needed. Checking out this web site is worth everyone's time to gain insight into this issue that affects us all.
Northfield, MN Post Office
Of particular note is the Bronx, NY, General Post Office (pictured), as reported in The New York Times
on February 2, 2013. Click below to read the full article:
Bronx, NY Historic Post Office and Mural
2013 marks the official 80th Anniversary of the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). A number of events and celebrations are scheduled with CCC alumni and current related groups. For more information about these events, link to:
This February 10-13 a national conference was held in Washington, DC., involving the CCC Legacy and the Corps Network organizations which include various service organizations. One of the sessions included leaders from various branches of the federal government discussing how the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps will be implemented as part of President Obama's Great Outdoors initiative.
On Saturday, March 23, the CCC Legacy Chapter #141
will hold their 80th Celebration in Albuquerque on Sat. March 23
at 11 am at Manzano del Sol Village located at 5201 Roma NE with a Dutch Treat lunch at 11:45. Anyone interested in attending this event should make a reservation by March 1st if possible. RSVP to Rusty Van Hart at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (505) 293-2073 or Kathy Flynn at email@example.com
or (505) 690-5845.
The NM Chapter of the NNDPA
would like to locate other CCC alumni all over the state in order to give them recognition and appreciation for the work they did for us in the 1930-40's for us to enjoy and appreciate today. If you know of a CCC alumni "boy" anywhere in NM, please send us contact information so we can get in touch with them directly.
Texas: On April 5-6, 2013, another 80th celebration takes place in Texas at Palo Duro Canyon State Park (near Amarillo). NNDPA Executive Director Kathy Flynn will be speaking and NNDPA Board Member, Walter Atwood, CCC boy from Florida, will join her at this event. For more information, contact Janelle Taylor at (512) 389-4665 or Janelle.Taylor@tpwd.state.tx.us.
Thanks to our very talented and valued Web Master, William Baker, The NNDPA Website is continually updated with news and events around the country. Click below for the latest on activities that may be in your state.
New Deal Happenings in New Mexico
Actress Loretta Swit as "Eleanor Roosevelt"
will perform at Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque, NM on March 24, 2013.
NNDPA members will get reduced rates when attending this performance, which should be much different from Swit as "Hot Lips" in the TV show "M*A*S*H." For information about the member's reduced rate, contact Kathy Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org
early so you will have a seat. If you are not currently a member, join now which can be done via our website:
Musician "Arlo Guthrie" will perform at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, NM on April 4th. His father, Woody Guthrie was one of the WPA/Federal Music Project participants. Last year there were celebrations to mark his 100th Anniversary.
Taos, NM --Harwood Museum opens a new exhibit on Feb. 9th of artwork by Eva Mirabal and son, Jonathan Warmday Coming, both of Taos Pueblo. Though we have never been able to verify Mirabal's being a part of the New Deal art programs, her family believes she was prior to going into the Army in 1943 where she served for three years. Now deceased, Mirabal's artwork has not been seen for some time but she was a contemporary of many of the Native American artists we have in our archives (Maria Martinez, Allan Houser, Pablita Velarde, Velino Shije Herrera, Gerald Nailor, etc.) The exhibit runs through May 5, 2013.
NNDPA Executive Director, Kathy Flynn, aka "The New Deal Lady" will be giving presentations around the state about the New Deal and its importance. A list of upcoming speaking engagements and conferences are listed here.
New Deal Happenings in Colorado
An Update on the Adventures
of CCC Researcher Kathleen Duxberry
Kathleen Duxberry, profiled in our last newsletter, is an author, CCC lecturer and independent CCC researcher. She and her husband, Gardner Yeaw, have been traveling the lower 48 states seeking the art, artists and stories of a quiet part of American art history - the CCC Art Program.
During their recent travels, Kathleen coordinated their trip to Portland, OR with Mark Hampal, owner of a local gallery. While there she discovered he had two paintings of Petit Jean State Park which featured the work being done by the CCC boys at the camp in that park in Arkansas.
Petit Jean State Park
Oil on board by George Gordon Synder
Once the origins of the two paintings were confirmed, Mr. Humpal entrusted the two pieces to Kathleen and Gardner for their safe return to Arkansas.
On October 19, 2012, the oils were returned to Petit Jean State Park. Suitably the delivery took place in the Mather Lodge CCC Room. In attendance was Richard Davies, Arkansas Executive Director of Parks and Tourism, whose grandfather, Samuel G. Davies, was the first Superintendent of the park when the CCC boys were building it. He was also Arkansas's first State Park Director.
| The Mather Lodge At Petit Jean State Park|
This Lodge was named for Stephen Mather, the first director of the National Park Service.
Oil on board by George Gordon Synder
It is interesting to note that in 1937 Director Samuel Davies made at least two requests to have the art returned for use at the park. Now, 75 years later that request was honored, thanks to the dedicated efforts of Kathleen and Gardner.
Duxberry expects to publish her new book: "Idle Artists of the Great Depression - a Pictorial Record of the Civilian Conservation Corps." For more on their travels and adventures:
PO Box 62
Ridgewood, N.J. 07450
Our Travel E-Mail
The Living New Deal website is another clearinghouse for information about the New Deal. This effort is headquartered in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley under the direction of Professor Richard Walker and Dr. Rachel Brahinsky.
Call For Interns: Our two organizations have just launched a state-by state effort to find teachers in history, art, architecture and preservation to encourage their students to become interns, researching information and digitizing pictures of sites in their respective states. These could then be sent to The Living New Deal to add to this national inventory website. Projects can include parks and buildings as well as art.
Like NNDPA, The Living New Deal reaches out to individuals, libraries, museums, and historical societies that can provide information about New Deal projects. The group is busy developing and expanding its online inventory and mapping of New Deal public works. Extensive documentation of New Deal projects in CA have been done. Some building sites around the nation have also been entered from printed sources but the surface has hardly been scratched nationwide. Please share what you have by sending photographs and related information to email@example.com.
As NNDPA and The Living New Deal are closely associated with one another, we have coordinated the release of our respective newsletters to benefit ALL our readers collectively. So, as you digest the contents of this publication, we encourage you to sign up for the LND newsletter - a terrific read for additional information on New Deal projects and issues. They will encourage their readers in turn. We believe everyone benefits when we all collaborate and share information.
Living New Deal Newsletter
New Deal Mural Restoration
The Conservation Center in Chicago, Illinois is nationally known for its restoration work of historic murals, including many New Deal treasures. The Center's Mural Department has become renowned for the preservation of over 600 Progressive and WPA murals across the nation which represent our American heritage. The Center also focuses its efforts on mural restoration in and around Chicago. Their website offers a wealth of information on all its mural projects. Contact The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works to learn of conservators in your area. InfoAIC@aol.com
The Conservaton Center
Finding Records of New Deal Participants
NNDPA often gets inquiries from folks seeking personel records of New Deal people who worked for the CCC, the WPA or the NYA.
This information can be found via the 1940 Census at the National Archives office in St. Louis, MO which provides a glimpse at the demographics of the New Deal. The fee for requesting this information is $20.00 for personnel records under five pages, and $60.00 for six or more pages. Send desired requests with as much information as possible since there can sometimes be similar names, etc. Provide birthplace, parents' names and years of employment if known.
ATTN: Archival Program
The National Archives
P.O. Box 38757
St. Louis, Missouri 63138
One of the National Archive staff in St. Louis, Ashley Mattingly, has written a most interesting overview of these three New Deal programs and it can be found by clicking on the following website: www.ccclegacy.org
or email for more information to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Anyone is welcome to join and support the CCC Legacy in memory of someone that was a CCC boy and special to you. They publish a bi-monthly newsletter that is full of history of CCC camp activities as well as current activities of the various chapters around the nation and obituaries of "the boys" are included when the editor is alerted of the passing of an alumni.
National Service Organizations
Emphasize Youth Outreach Programs
We frequently hear how we need the CCC again now. That is a correct but an identical program would be highly unlikely due to financing alone. For example, most boys (and girls) today do expect to make more than $1.00 a day for their work. However, there are similar youth corps groups in existence today, i.e., Americorps, along with some adult corps i.e., Peace Corps. Many are similar to the CCC particularly in their purposes and goals and hopefully the new 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, mentioned earlier in this newsletter will come close to the CCC's programs and accomplishments.
Two other noteworthy umbrella organizations represent a network of well-known and respectable groups devoted to the advocacy of national service, which has been an American tradition since the inception of the CCC and other efforts. Both web sites provide a wealth of information, lists and links - a large percentage of which are groups devoted to youth outreach, education, volunteer development and the value of community service. NNDPA highly recommends learning more about these groups and including them in efforts to bring light to the importance of the New Deal and its impact on America's ability to grow out of the Great Depression.
The Corps Network is composed of comprehensive youth development programs that provide their participants with job training, academic programming, leadership skills, and additional support through a strategy of service that improves communities and the environment. Since its creation in 1985, The Corps Network's mission, as the national membership association of service and conservation Corps, has been to promote the growth, quality, and sustainability of Corps.
Voices for National Service is an advocacy group that seeks to ensure the growth and development of national service programs and works to educate the American public and our nation's leaders about the power and impact of national service.
The Theft (and destruction)
of our Art and Buildings
by Gray Brechin, Ph.D.
I recently received a message from a friend that bears on what we are trying to bring to the public's attention: the daylight theft of public property and lawlessness by an agency legally mandated to provide public service. Among its obligations is the preservation and stewardship of public art created during the New Deal. We are all supposed to own that art and to have ready access to it.
As you can see below, the murals in Birmingham, MI have been effectively privatized. The same is true of the Biberman mural in Venice, CA now virtually owned by movie producer Joel Silver, as well as others around the country.
"The Pioneering Society's Picnic"
tempera by Carlos Lopez (1942)
Birmingham, MI Post Office
But wait, it gets worse! On my recent trip to DC, I went out to Bethesda to see the fine little stone post office there which has been sold and is now badly deteriorating among the high-rises that have gone up around the Metro station. Mail services [sic] have been moved to a nondescript leased office space without a flag half a mile away from its former central location. The doors are chained but ajar so that the abandoned interior has no climate control; a mural of the local Women's Farm Cooperative remains above the service desk in some sort of legal limbo but clearly in danger. The building appears to be a site of opportunity for more smart growth in a town whose history has otherwise been almost altogether erased.
During my trip from NYC to DC, I stopped in Philadelphia where I attempted to visit the huge main post office across Market Street from the train station. A guard stopped me from entering, told me the building has been sold and is no longer public, and that if I attempted to photograph its superb Deco lobby, I would be "swarmed" and my camera confiscated. He kindly said I could photograph the exterior.
That is more than one of our colleagues was permitted when she attempted to photograph the post office in Catonsville, MD. She was told that she not only could not photograph the artwork in the lobby but the exterior of the building itself. She felt threatened and so did not contest the command.
I am appealing to everyone who cares about this to take action. For more information contact me:
Gray Brechin, Ph.D., has served on the NNDPA Board of Directors for seven years. Currently he has taken a leave of absence to write a book on the volumes of New Deal research he has compiled. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Univ. of California-Berkeley and as such, instrumental in implementing the Living New Deal's nationwide New Deal interactive map website and its continuance.