Thursday, December 22, 2016
WPA Theatre and Christmas Toys at Madison Square Garden
Above: A WPA worker repairs toys in New York City, 475 Tenth Avenue, ca. 1935-1943. Photo courtesy of the National Archives and the New Deal Network.
On December 22, 1938, the WPA and the New York City Police and Fire Department gave out 50,000 toys to children from low-income families. Thousands of those toys were distributed at Madison Square Garden, after the children got a sneak preview of the upcoming WPA play, "Pinocchio." And many of the toys were the "work of the WPA Toy Repair Project, which has headquarters at 475 Tenth Avenue" ("50,000 Needy Children Get Toys From Police, Firemen and WPA," New York Times, December 23, 1938).
Above: A WPA performance of Pinocchio, in New York City, ca. 1935-1939. Photo courtesy of the National Archives and the New Deal Network.