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AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: The Civilian Conservation Corps

Airs Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: A CCC worker planting trees. In March 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to provide jobs in natural resource conservation.

In March 1933, within weeks of his inauguration, President Franklin Roosevelt sent legislation to Congress aimed at providing relief for the one out of every four American workers who were unemployed. He proposed a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to provide jobs in natural resource conservation.

Photo Gallery

Living in camps across all 48 states (and the territories of Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands) the men of 'the C’s’ created camping areas and hiking trails in State and National Parks, built roads, fought forest fires, constructed dams, and planted 2.3 billion trees — half of the trees ever planted in the U.S. — all for $1 a day. Explore these photos of some CCC boys and their projects.

Map

View a map of CCC projects across the U.S. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE mapped several locations in every state — see if you can find something near you!

Over the next decade, the CCC put more than three million young men to work in the nation’s forests and parks, planting trees, building flood barriers, fighting fires and maintaining roads and trails.

Corps workers lived in camps under quasi-military discipline and received a wage of $30 per month, $25 of which they were required to send home to their families.

"The Civilian Conservation Corps" interweaves rich archival imagery with the personal accounts of CCC veterans to tell the story of one of the boldest and most popular New Deal experiments, positioning it as a pivotal moment in the emergence of modern environmentalism and federal unemployment relief.

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Video

Preview: American Experience: The Civilian Conservation Corps

Above: In March 1933, within weeks of his inauguration, President Franklin Roosevelt sent legislation to Congress aimed at providing relief for unemployed American workers. He proposed the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to provide jobs in natural resource conservation. Over the next decade, the CCC put more than three million young men to work in the nation's forests and parks, planting trees, building flood barriers, fighting fires, and maintaining roads and trails, conserving both private and federal land.

Video

Author Interview: Neil Maher

Your browser does not support this object. Content can be viewed at actual source page: http://video.kpbs.org/video/1443769211

Watch Author Interview: Neil Maher on PBS. See more from American Experience.

Above: Neil Maher tackles issues related to the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Great Depression.