Monday, September 2, 2013

Today is Labor Day, a great day to remember the WPA

(WPA laborers working on a road in Frederick County, Maryland, circa 1936. Image courtesy of the University of Maryland College Park Archives.) 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, "Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country" (see "The History of Labor Day").

Considering the infrastructure work of the WPA--bridges, airports, schools, roads, waterlines, etc.--perhaps a small part of Labor Day (even just a few minutes) should be spent recognizing the contribution that WPA workers made to America. The projects they completed helped our nation prosper after World War II and, in many cases, are still being utilized today. 

Did you know that WPA workers created, repaired, or improved 650,000 miles of highways, roads, and streets? That's enough roadwork to go around the Earth 26 times. If that's not worthy of recognition, what is?

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