President Franklin Roosevelt signed the ambitious but controversial Tennessee Valley Authority Act 80 years ago on May 18, 1933, to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected by the Great Depression.
An enduring legacy of the New Deal, FDR established the Civilian Conservation Corps with an executive order signed April 5, 1933.
In the midst of the Great Depression, the program put thousands of unemployed young men to work, planting trees, building roads, improving State and National Parks, even combating forest fires and other natural disasters.
Never a permanent agency, the scale of the CCC was reduced as the economy improved, and it was disbanded in 1942 as the country geared up for World War II.
Lincoln Tunnel opens December 22, 1937
After 3 1/2 years of work, this Public Works Administration funded project welcomed cars on December 22, 1937 with a toll price of fifty cents. Today you can travel through the tunnel for between $13 and $8.25. It was the second tunnel to link New Jersey and New York City, with the Holland Tunnel opening 10 years earlier.
Civilian Conservation Corps in California, Camp Wolverton, Sequoia National Park, 06/27/1933
This card from Alaska is a charming example of some of the interesting materials you might find on textual records at the National Archives.
Christmas Card from Superior Paul C. O’Connor, Society of Jesus of St. Mary’s Mission at Akulurak, Alaska to Assistant Director Charles G. Burdick of the Civilian Conservation Corps’ Alaska Region, ca. 12/20/1938
Want to buy great gifts that support local artisans and the programs of the National Archives?
Come shop at our first-ever American Artisans Fair! The fair was inspired by the New Deal projects that put artists to work during the Great Depression.
The National Archives Shop will be featuring the work of local American artisans in a holiday fair December 2 to 6, offering original jewelry, apparel, and household items.
June 16 - Blue Eagle of the National Recovery Administration
Graphic of NRA Blue Eagle, ca. 1933; Records of the National Recovery Administration [NRA], 1927-1937
Following the enactment of the the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), the National Recovery Administration (NRA) was established on June 16, 1933 in an effort by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to assist the nation’s economic recovery during the Great Depression. The passage of NIRA ushered in a unique experiment in U.S. economic history—the NIRA sanctioned, supported, and in some cases, enforced an alliance of industries. Patriotic appeals were made to the public, and firms were asked to display the Blue Eagle, an emblem signifying NRA participation.