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History: Civilian Conservation Corps enlistments in 1940

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From 1933-1942 the Civilian Conservation Corps operated to provide relief to families with young unmarried men who had difficulty finding jobs.  Manual labor jobs that implemented a natural resource conservation program could be had in every state and territory.  From the small wage of $30 a month, $25 had to be sent home to the families of the participating men.

On July 11, 1940 The Bossier Banner praised the efforts of the CCC.

“We cannot too heartily agree with the present  plans of Congress to enlarge the scope and membership of the Civilian Conservation Corps.  Of all the New Deal agencies, this has not only been most successful, but has received wider approval than all the rest.”

“It is to be hoped that the CCC of the future will not only undertake worthy works, like forest fire fighting, road construction, reforestation, soil conservation and other work, but that the proposed military training program, the initial steps at least, will be added.”

“We commend, too the idea of taking into the corps youth who do not come from indigent families.  In the past only those whose families were in need could be accepted.  This naturally excluded a great many unemployed young men, to say nothing of hundreds of others who might have welcomed that chance of engaging in pleasant, profitable out-of-door work.”

“Here in Bossier Parish we have had several CCC Camps in the past few years.  We regret that the last is now being moved from Bellevue to some other section, and we trust that ere long there will be at least three camps operating in the parish.”

“We need a reforestation camp,, for we have thousands of acres of deunded land; we also have other thousands which need adequate woodland roads for fire control and fire control parties; we need a camp to do soil conservation work—terracing, reforestation of farm wood lots, and such work;  and we need a camp at Barksdale Field, for that area will soon see a vast increase in personnel and will need many improvements which a group of young men could make.”

“In this hour of our nation’s need, the enlargement of the CCC, both in enlisted personnel and its training program, is a welcome idea.  We only trust that the plan will be pursued in such a manner that the men and the nation may reap the utmost from the benefits to be derived therefrom.”

When World War II began, and with the draft in operation, Congress voted to close the program because the need for work relief declined.

To learn more about the CCC camps and programs in Bossier Parish, visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at amiddlet@state.lib.la.us