Monday, November 2, 2009

American Experience

CCC Firefighters in Washington State, 1937

I missed posting about this in advance, but I think it's worth putting up anyway. I'm working late and I have a TV in my office, and right now PBS is showing an American Experience documentary on the Civilian Conservation Corps, the cornerstone of FDR's New Deal that put millions of men to work during the Great Depression. Commentator Jonathan Alter:
Someone approached the economist John Maynard Keynes and asked him, 'Have we ever seen anything like this before?' And he said: 'Yes, we have. It was called the Dark Ages. It lasted 400 years.
So – we don't have it as bad as they did, and there are some signs that things are looking up, but I was saying to someone the other day that it seems like every other person I meet lately is out of work. I firmly believe that we need a jobs program in this country today and I think if Obama initiated it, it would change a lot of the haters' minds. It feels good to work and earn money, and when that's taken away, it can break a person, and break a country. In my mind, it's the most important thing to fix as we try to dig out from this financial crisis.

My grandfather Don Woodfin was a Firefighter in the CCC (old timers call it the CC's) in the mountains of Idaho. I'll write about that some time soon.

Preview the CCC documentary at – it's worth looking out for a re-run or tracking down the DVD.

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