Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The WPA and Zoos

Did you know that the WPA helped create, repair, and improve zoos? Additionally, WPA workers painted posters encouraging people to visit zoos, and even wrote a book about the zoo, "Who's Who In The Zoo." (Images below are courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.)

"Every time I go over to Central Park, I walk into the Children's Zoo. This was built during the Depression by WPA workers. It's an absolutely lovely place. I go into the park often. And I cannot help remembering--look, this came out of the Depression. Because men were out of work, because they were given a way to earn money, good things were created."

--Herman Shumlin, Broadway producer and director, in Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression (Studs Terkel, 1970).

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