Friday, March 26, 2010


The Civilian Conservation Corps was a life saver for unemployed young men during the depression. Wouldn't it be wonderful if it could be resurrected now?

I'm not really sure that this is a photo from the CCC's  but I don't know what else it could have been. My father wasn't able to join the military because of a heart condition.  It seems odd that they would have issued the CCC boys rifles with bayonets.  I do know that he was in the CCC's, though.  He enjoyed the experience.

It looks like they must have put on "amateur theatricals" at the camp. Or else they were a bunch of "cross dressers".  This is my father on the left and his brother, Bob, on the right.
Don't they make beautiful women?

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program for unemployed men, providing vocational training through the performance of useful work related to conservation and development of natural resources in the United States[2] from 1933 to 1942. As part of the New Deal legislation proposed by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), the CCC was designed to aid relief of the unemployment resulting from the Great Depression while implementing a general natural resource conservation program on federal, state, county and municipal lands in every U.S. state, including the territories of Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The CCC became one of the more popular New Deal programs among the general public, providing economic relief, rehabilitation and training for a total of 3 million men. The CCC also provided a comprehensive work program that combined conservation, renewal, awareness and appreciation of the nation's natural resources. The CCC was never considered a permanent program and depended on emergency and temporary legislation for its existence. On June 30, 1942 Congress voted to eliminate funding for the CCC, formally ceasing active operation of the program.

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Betsy said...

How very interesting! I had never heard of the CCC! That last picture with the dresses is hilarious!

Vicki Lane said...

Great pictures! The CCC was a wonderful program and, as you say, wouldn't it be nice to bring it back!

Martin H. said...

I had never heard of the CCC program, but it sounds as though it was a positive thing to be a part of.

The photographs are great. Ready for action in the first. Waiting for the director to call action in the last of the three.

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

Free, completely unsolicited advice from a stranger!
1. Even with his health condition, would he not have been allowed to be part of a homeland militia? This is really interesting and you should probably post a query at some military forums as I'm sure someone will recognize the uniform.
2. Another thing you might do is place a meta-tag behind the image. Once Google Images picks it up, someone is sure to come across it.
Evelyn in Montreal

McHargue said...

The CCC part is interesting and the dress-up even more so. You wonder where they got the dresses and how confident in their masculinity they must have been! I suspect they had wonderful senses of humor just like you.

C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson said...

My Father was also part of the CCC's. He used to talk about how one crew would dig a ditch and another would follow behind and fill it in. One of the purposes of the CCC's was to allow men who were out of work to retain their self-respect for accepting the government handouts. Some of the works performed were useful and some was simply work in return for sustenance.

steviewren said...

Gotta love the cross-dressing photo! Too funny. Their dresses were great.

Meri said...

They DO make beautiful women. Now there's a story. My grandfather worked in the depression courtesy of the CCC, but always mistrusted "big government." Isn't that interesting?

willow said...

Oh, gosh. I have the biggest crush on your dad! What a handsome man, even in drag!

Barbara said...

Isn't it funny how many people mistrust "big government" (especially these days) when it's done so many wonderful things for us. I've read that most of the trails in the national parks were built by the CCC's. Not to mention that we wouldn't even have national parks without "big government" nor schools, or libraries and on and on. Forgive me for the rant. It's really on my mind these days.
I love connecting with all of you- especially when we have shared memories- like all of us who had fathers in the CCC's.

Christine H. said...

What a dashing fellow, even in a dress. The CCC really was a wonderful program; we still see the results today.

Barbara said...

Evelyn In Monteal, What's a meta-tag?
We do have a "homeland militia" called the National Guard but I think his heart condition was so bad that he couldn't have joined that either. His stint in the CCC's must have been before the war and probably before his heart trouble, also. He got rheumatic fever while in college and the heart trouble from that. He only lived to be 42, which was longer than expected.

L. D. Burgus said...

I enjoyed hearing the history of the CCC. It was a life saver for a starving country.

Anonymous said...

I had never heard of this program but it sounds to have been an excellent one.
Wouldn't it be great if they brought it back.
Yes, you father and uncle make very elegant young ladies!

The Silver Fox said...

That third shot is priceless!

JamaGenie said...

The amazing thing about the CCC (and the WPA, a similar program) was that the U.S. was flat broke, so technically the checks issued to pay workers were "bogus". But the cash the men went home with at the end of a work week wasn't bogus in the sense that it was used *locally* to pay rent, buy groceries, clothing, gasoline, etc. It kept *local* businesses open, and by filtering laterally through *local* businesses, quickly became REAL money that made its way UP to the U.S. Treasury, which was used to pay more CCC and WPA workers.

Technically, it was a giant Ponzi scheme, but in this case was exactly what was needed to get the country on its feet again. There's a saying that 'all politics are local' but so is the economy. Money has to filter OUT from millions of people at the "bottom"...i.e. locally... before it can filter UP to the Treasury and Wall Street. Which is why the bank bailout wasn't the instant jump start to the economy the "experts" expected. Reviving the CCC or WPA would've been more effective, and in the long run far less costly.

I love how the "experts" think we "little people" aren't smart enough to spend money wisely. Where do they think the money they move around so "expertly" (NOT!) comes from?

I'll get off now and go see if my MBA has come in the mail yet. ;)

Rhonda in OK said...

Nice photos - and those were some very fancy dresses, I do wonder why they were wearing them.

I remember seeing the CCC on old episodes of The Waltons.

Barry said...

I had nver heard of the CCC either but it seems they did wonderful work at a very difficult time.

I won't make any jokes about dressing in drag because I noticed the rifles in the earlier photos.

Barbara said...

MC HARGUE, I think they were pretty confident about their masculinity. They were both champion wrestlers in college. Uncle Bob almost went to the Olympics. There's a story about the "almost" that I have yet to discover.
I also wonder about the dresses. I saw another CCC photo where they were all dressed as Indians. They must have all had a wardrobe dept.

WILLOW, I always thought my father was a handsome man, too. I think I usually rated my dates by comparing them to him. Most didn't measure up.

JAMA GENIE, When they were figuring out how to fix the economy my thoughts went right to my father's experience in the CCC's. It certainly would go a long way to fixing unemployment,along with the other programs from the depression.

BARRY, Your rifle comment made me laugh out loud. Or should I say LOL.

Alan Burnett said...

You have educated so many people who - like me - had never come across the CCC before. But the wonderful thing about your post (and the Sepia Saturday thing in general) is how the photographs make a direct connection between the political, economic and social history of the time and individual family members who, to each of us, are real people and not historic events.

John Hayes said...

Great photos & great write-up on the CCC!


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