What It Is All About

From the CCC Enrollees Handbook circa 1940:

     THE CCC grew out of the depression. It was one of the first things President Roosevelt recommended to Congress when he took office in March, 1933. Congress passed the first CCC law on March 31. The corps was called Emergency Conservation Work, but from the begining it became the CCC because the President, in his message to Congress, had asked authority to create "a civilian conservation corps." Congress official changed the name to Civilian COnservation Corps four years later. The idea behind the CCC, as expressed by COngress, was "to relieve the acute condition of widespread distress and unemployment existing in the United States, provide for the restoration of the country's depleted natural resources, and advance an orderly program of useful public works."

     On April 5, the Presdient appointed Robert Fechner as director of the CCC and the enrollment of 250,000 unmarried men between 18 and 25 years was begun. Enrollees were to be selected from families on relief rolls. Included, were 35,000 older men selected from the commmunities near the camps because of their expereince. Being locally enrolled men, they were called LEM's. In May, the President authorized enrollment of 28,000 war veterans. They could be of any age and either married or single, so long as they were in need of a job and were willing to allot part of their pay to dependents.

     When severe drought hit the middlewest in 1934, an additional 50,000 boys were enrolled from those states. In 1935, the CCC was enlarged to include 505,000 enrolled men, in 2656 camps, and the age limit set at 28 years. The following year this was cut to 350,000 men and 2109 camps. In June, 1937, Congress extended the CCC for three years, from July 1, 1937. Age for junior enrollees was changed to 17 to 23, and the corps reduced to 300,000 enrolled men and 1500 camps, not including the Indians and those outside the states. In August, 1939, Congress again extended the CCC, for at least three years, from July 1, 1940.

     The "relief roll" requirement for enrollment was modified by Congress in 1937, thus making eligible any young man otherwise qualified if "unemployed and in need of employment." In 1937, Congress placed a two year limit on enrollment, but provided for unlimited enrollment of five key men, three cooks, a mess steward and one leader, without regard to age or marital status. In 1938, five enrollees classed as project assistants were added to this group.

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