The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), originally designed as a New Deal Program under the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, provided work for young men during the Depression Era, a time of excessive unemployment. From 1933-42, over 3 million men enlisted in the CCC at 4,500 camps located in every state, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Later CCC initiatives spurred the hiring of American Indians, skilled older men, and war veterans. Despite the unprecedented success of the CCC program and the President's objections, all CCC camps closed after America became involved in World War II.
Life at Fort Hunt
Imagine...your 6-month stint working for the Civilian Conservation Corps at Camp NP-6 at Fort Hunt is nearly over, but you plan to re-enlist. For the past 8 weeks you have planted trees along the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway (later called George Washington Memorial Parkway). Other men have improved beaches, dug ditches for mosquito control, and restored historic structures in national parks nearby.
For 40 hours of labor each week you earn $30.00 per month, a decent wage during the Great Depression. As part of the deal, you send $25.00 back to your family. Tonight, after dinner, you'll play basketball and then attend a lecture with your buddies.
Did you know the CCC:
· Created a conservation legacy you can see today in many national/state parks and forests, including Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, cabin camps at Prince William Forest Park and the Appalachian Trail?
· Planted 3 billion trees nationwide, including along George Washington Memorial Parkway, earning them the nickname "Roosevelt's Tree Army?"
· Restored 3,980 historical structures, built 46,854 bridges, created 28,087 miles of foot and horse trails, and erected 405,037 signs, markers and monuments?
(Caption for photo on left):
In the CCC, men learned new skills and trades.
(Caption for photo on right):
Queen Elizabeth of England is escorted at Fort Hunt by CCC Assistant Director Charles H. Taylor for an inspection of the camp in June 1939. King George VI is partially obscured by the Queen's umbrella and Eleanor Roosevelt is standing to the right in the background.