|Boulder City History
by Roseanne Shoaff, Manager
Boulder Dam Hotel
"The New Deal"
As the United States is currently experiencing difficult economic times, one might recall Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal.” FDR’s New Deal Package created the Emergency Conservation Work Act (EWA), which would not only create jobs, but would also return American pride to workers in all walks of life.
Boulder City Magazine®
|The Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) concept, which was what the EWA later became known as, was to enlist men between the ages of 17 and 26 to create a “peacetime army.” This army of the previously unemployed would work primarily to solve our nation’s natural land erosion problems. The young men who enlisted with the federal government became known as CCC Boys. These boys were required to build roads, dams and canals, plant trees, fight forest fires, and build and maintain tourist facilities. It has been estimated that 3 billion trees were planted between 1933 and 1942. Especially crucial in areas of the country affected by the dust bowl, the process of reforestation would create a wind barrier and retain moisture in the soil, thus improving the agricultural landscape.
The distribution of a limited amount of New Deal funds throughout the fifty states proved to be advantageous to the State of Nevada. Some historians believe that, because of the close relationship between President Roosevelt and Nevada Senator Pittman, a disproportionate amount of money was given to the “Battle Born” state, with more than 50% of Nevada’s federal funding going to three agencies: the Bureau of Reclamation (Hoover Dam Project Act), Public Roads, and the CCC. Southern Nevada was fortunate to have 2 CCC camps. A camp was located in Las Vegas and then in 1935 the Boulder City Twin Camps were built on the city’s southeast edge.
One CCC boy, Charles Callender, having been stationed in both Las Vegas and Boulder City, recounted how much he enjoyed working out of Boulder City in a letter sent home to his parents in Tiffan, Ohio.
By 1942, with the need to allocate money on the war and the problems of unemployment of the previous decade no longer an issue, Congress began closing the camps.
On behalf of the Boulder City Museum and Historical Association.
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