Observations of the CCC and Interviews Videos of CCC Alumi

Interview Videos CCC Alumi

Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni Interview With Mr. Ted Mazur
Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni Interview With Mr Sidney Mander
Civilian Conservation Corps | Living St. Louis
Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni Interview With Mr. Walter Atwood
Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni Inteview - Mr. Clark M Pitt
Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni Interview With Mr. Pervis H. Hamm
Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni Interview With Mr. Rusty Swarmer
Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni Interview - Mr. James C. King
Civilian Conservation Corp Alumni Interview - Mr. Jacob Shad

Observations of the CCC

Historian Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn (1922-2010)

American Historian

“The CCC was not only one of the greatest innovations of the New Deal, but it provides a model for us today. It is the answer to the double problem of unemployed youth (who turn to drugs, who end up in prison) and the persistence of war, with its enormous drain on the national wealth. The young, instead of being recruited to kill and be killed, or to come home maimed in body or in mind, could be put to work in government programs like the CCC, doing all sorts of constructive things to make our environment cleaner and safer. Such work would have the opposite effect of military action — that is, it would foster healthy bodies and healthy minds as these young people make a great contribution to the nation. The situation today, with a trillion dollars wasted on war, with young men and women coming home damaged, with a crumbling infrastructure making us vulnerable to more Katrina’s, and more human disasters, cries out for such a solution.”

James Albert Michener

James Albert Michener (1907-1997)

American Writer

He wrote for re-establishment in his book, This Noble Land:

“I was favorably impressed by the Civilian Conservation Corps which had, so far as I could see, a faultless program in which young people could do constructive work for their communities while earning a modest salary. I would have hopes for such a program, were one to be reinstituted now.”

George C. Marshall (1880-1959)

Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army

“The 1930s saw the arrival of another enemy at America’s door: the Great Depression.

Marshall took a pay cut in order to remain in the Army and was posted in 1933 to South Carolina, many soliders were unable to feed their families on army pay. Marshall taught his men to grow their own food, and helped establish Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) projects throughout the South. Planting trees and maintaining parks were among the jobs distributed at workcamps throughout the nation where young men lived and worked, sending money home to their families. The CCC was part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal, for economic recovery and its goal was simple: put young men to work that also benefited the nation.

Congress had directed the Army to oversee the CCC operation. Marshall set up 19 camps in the south and supervised 35 in the Pacific Northwest. Many Army officers disliked working with this civilian program because it failed to benefit their military careers. Marshall wanted promotions as well, however he thought beyond himself to the needs of his country and believed the program helped young men become good workers and citizens. Yes, the men were planting trees, but they were also rooting themselves in the values Americans held dear: hard work, teamwork, and service to country. They would keep American democracy strong and healthy, which Marshall saw as much more important than his own personal career.

Marshall loved the CCC… Marshall once again decided that personal glory was less important than the need of the county.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)

32nd President of the United States and Founder of the CCC

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”

FDR’s written message to the Emergency Session of the 73rd Congress on March 21, 1933:

“I propose to create a civilian conservation corps to be used in forestry, the prevention of soil erosion,
flood control and similar projects…”

“More important, however, than the material gains from their labors will be the moral and spiritual value of such work.”

“In broad terms, I assert that modern society, acting through its government, owes the definite obligation to prevent the starvation or dire want of any of its fellow men and women who try to maintain themselves, but cannot.”

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”

“I do not look upon these United States as a finished product. We are still in the making.”


“If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.”

“If you treat people right they will treat you right… ninety percent of the time.”

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. But while they prate of economic laws, men and women are starving. We must lay hold of the fact that economic laws are not made by nature. They are made by human beings.”

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

Former First Lady of the United States

In 1934:

“I have moments of real terror, when I think we may be losing this generation. We have got to bring these young people into the active life of the community… It has been said in this country we should deal with first things first, and in my estimation, the question before us is action on the problems of youth.”

In 1945:

“As I look back over the actual measures which were undertaken…I realize that the one in which my husband took the greatest pleasure was the establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)

34th President of the United States

Eisenhower’s “Red Diary” of 1929-1934:

“June 18 [1933] The CCC has been the big activity engaging the Army’s time this summer. I’ve written a preliminary report for inclusion in Annual Report of C. of S.”

C. of S. is Army Chief of Staff Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Eisenhower’s boss.

On December 9, 1933, he wrote over half a page about the effectiveness of the CCC and that it was the only New Deal program performing up to expectations at that time, largely due to the Army’s role in organization and administration.

Reference: Kevin Bailey, Archivist at the Eisenhower Presidential Library (2011)

President Obama

Barack Obama (Born 1961)

44th President of the United States

Inaugural Address on January 20, 2009:

“Know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.”

Address at the 160th Anniversary of the Department of the Interior on March 3, 2009:

“I want generations that follow to see that we used this moment to encourage a 21st century civilian conservation corps for our young people.”

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