Thursday, January 30, 2014
The New Deal: Patriotism in its finest form
Above: Funds from the New Deal's Public Works Administration helped repair the Washington Monument in D.C. Image courtesy of the National Archives and the New Deal Network.
Above: The WPA helped repair the Statue of Liberty. Image courtesy of the National Archives and the New Deal Network.
Above: WPA workers restored Fort Ashby in West Virginia, one of several forts built by George Washington. Photo by Brent McKee.
Above: The Civilian Conservation Corps restored the first monument to George Washington, near Boonsboro, Maryland. Photo by Brent McKee.
All across the country, New Deal policy-makers and New Deal workers restored, repaired, and preserved American history. Unemployed workers were hired into programs like the CCC and WPA to repair buildings, record oral histories, inventory historic structures, and much more. Many of the buildings they repaired, and many of the records they compiled, are still utilized today, thus highlighting the enduring value of that work.
Some people scoff at the New Deal and call it "godless communism!" and "wasteful spending!" But to my way of thinking, giving your fellow citizens useful work opportunities--opportunities that just-so-happen to preserve our national heritage--is patriotism in its finest form.