The CCC Says “See Ya”
March 6, 2002
The CCC says “see ya” this week on the Oklahoma Audio Almanac.
Hello, I’m Steven Knoche Kite.
President Franklin Roosevelt, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the Great Depression, initiated
numerous reform programs which are known collectively as the New Deal. Included in the New Deal were many
programs that would greatly affect Oklahoma one of those being the CCC or Civilian Conservation Corp.
The CCC was intended to provide paying jobs for out of work youths, provided of course that they were
male and between the ages of 17 and 26. Enrollees to the CCC were paid thirty dollars a month, twenty-five
of which had to be sent home to their families. Once admitted CCC participants lived in army style camps
headed by officers from the Army Reserve.
Within Oklahoma there were six types of CCC camps, National Park, National Forest, State Park, State
Forest Camps, Soil Conservation Camps and Biological Survey Camps. The various outfits performed all manner
of services for the state and worked everywhere from the panhandle to McCurtain County. CCC crews built
park and forest structures, maintained roads, policed campgrounds, planted trees and grass, terraced farm
lands, constructed ponds and dams and surveyed large portions of the state.
Much of the work of the CCC can still be seen around the state today. For many Oklahoman’s the program
was a family’s ticket out of the relief lines. In 1936 salaries paid by the CCC allowed more than 13,000
Oklahoma families to end their reliance on state and national relief. At any one time between 1933 and
1942 there were over 8,000 Oklahomans enrolled in the government program. Only Texas, New York and Illinois
had more CCC recruits than Oklahoma. By 1942, the last year of the program, Oklahoma had more CCC camps
in operation than any other state.
It was in the week of 1942 that orders came down from Washington effectively ending the CCC in Oklahoma.
World War II was helping to bring the country out of the depression and good paying jobs were once again
plentiful. Over the eight year life of the program more than 100,000 Oklahoman’s received education, training
and pay from the Civilian Conservation Corp.
Roosevelt’s New Deal bringing a New Chance for Oklahoma this week on the Almanac.
I'm Steven knoche Kite.
The Oklahoma Audio Almanac is a joint production of the Oklahoma State University
Library and Oklahoma's Public Radio.