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Paul Loofburrow

Arts & Culture

OREGON EXPERIENCE: Civilian Conservation Corps

OPB | Sept. 25, 2008 10:28 p.m. | Updated: Dec. 5, 2013 11:13 a.m.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps, one of the most popular of the New Deal relief programs installed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt shortly after his inauguration in 1933. The next OREGON EXPERIENCE tells the story of the organization that put millions of unemployed young men to work improving federal and state lands during the Great Depression, and reintroduces us to some of its work that is still being enjoyed to this day throughout Oregon. Tune in to the stations of Oregon Public Broadcasting on Monday, November 3 at 9pm (and Sunday, November 9 at 1pm) for a fascinating look at how the program accomplished so much during its short existence

Five days after his inauguration, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called an emergency session of Congress to install the Conservation Civilian Corps — known as the CCC. The program targeted unemployed young men, veterans and American Indians who were hard hit by the Great Depression. The “CCC boys,” as they were called, were required to send a portion of their money home to their parents. In addition to their wage, the boys received free education, healthcare and job training.

Oregon hosted dozens of CCC camps all over the state. Among their many projects, enrollees fought fires on the Tillamook Burns, helped build ski areas on Mt. Hood, built telephone and electrical wires, and improved farm lands.

This episode of OREGON EXPERIENCE tells the story of some of the “CCC boys.” Recent interviews with former CCC workers, archival film and photos paint a captivating picture of the program that put millions to work on federal and state land for the “prevention of forest fires, floods, and soil erosion, plant, pest, and disease control.” Nationwide, enrollees planted three billion trees and came to be known as the Tree Army.

About OREGON EXPERIENCE
OREGON EXPERIENCE is an exciting history series on OPB that brings to life fascinating stories that help us understand who we are and that reinforce our shared identity as Oregonians. The series, co-produced by the Oregon Historical Society and Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), takes advantage of the extensive film, video and stills from the archives of OHS and OPB, and draws upon the expertise of OHS researchers and historians. Each show features captivating characters — both familiar and forgotten — who have played key roles in building our state into the unique place we call home. Funding for OREGON EXPERIENCE is provided in part by Ann & Bill Swindells Charitable Trust, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation and Oregon Cultural Trust. opb.org/oregonexperience.

About OPB
OPB is the state’s most far-reaching and accessible media resource, providing free access to programming for children and adults designed to give voice to community, connect Oregon and its neighbors and illuminate a wider world. Every week, over 1.5 million people tune in to or log on to OPB’s Television, Radio and Internet delivered services. As the hub of operations for the state’s Emergency Broadcast and Amber Alert services, OPB serves as the backbone for the distribution of critical information to broadcasters and homes throughout Oregon. Oregon Public Broadcasting is a statewide network that includes OPB Television, an affiliate of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and OPB Radio, presenting local news coverage and the programs of National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI) and American Public Media (APM). The OPB Web site is opb.org.

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