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Today in history: The Civilian Conservation Corps is born
In 1933, FDR created the program, which employed more than 3 million people over nearly a decade
Young men carrying kitbags are off to work in California in 1933 as part of Roosevelt's New Deal.
Young men carrying kitbags are off to work in California in 1933 as part of Roosevelt's New Deal. Henry Guttmann/Getty Images


April 10, 1933: President Franklin Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a public work relief program which put Americans to work on environmentally related projects. Created during the depths of the Great Depression, the CCC, which lasted until 1942, employed more than 3 million Americans. Among other things, they planted an estimated 3 billion trees, built wildlife refuges, soil erosion controls, and constructed facilities at more than 800 parks. At any given time, some 300,000 people were employed, and were given food, clothing, and shelter. Their wages were $30 a month, $25 of which had to be sent home to their families. The Civilian Conservation Corps is regarded as one of the cornerstones of President Roosevelt's New Deal; it was wound down in 1942, after the United States entered World War II against Germany and Japan, and needed labor for the war effort.

Quote of the day

"The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself." — Franklin D. Roosevelt

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