The Civilian Conservation Corps
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was one of the major government jobs programs started during the New Deal, the group of programs instituted during the Roosevelt administration to pull the country out of the Depression. The CCC was established in 1933 and put 500,000 unemployed youth to work on public improvement projects. Their manual labor improved the country’s national, state, and local parks and forests. The men who were hired by the CCC were single and between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. Camps were set up by the U.S. Army where they worked which provided them with free room and board. Much of the work was manual labor and the men worked hard for their monthly salary of $30, $25 of which was automatically deducted and sent home to their families. The pay was a source of pride to the young men – being earned and not a handout.
In April 1933, the federal government asked superintendents in national forests and parks to submit work proposals for the CCC. In June of that year, NPS Director Horace Albright commented on the significance of the CCC:
The National Park Service established two camps in October 1933 – one at Fort Hunt in Virginia and the other at Fort Dupont in the District of Columbia. Eighty percent of the personnel of the Fort Dupont CCC camp were employed in work to improve Fort Dupont Park. In 1942, a survey listed the works at Fort Dupont Park completed by the Corps. more...
In addition to work at Fort Dupont, the CCC assigned there partially reconstructed Fort Stevens in 1937.
The CCC continued working in and around Fort Dupont until March 25, 1942 – a few months prior to the date when all CCC camps were closed. In 1942, the National Park Service estimated that the CCC workers at Fort Dupont Camp had expended 224,6000 man days and $83,100 in funds. The buildings constructed and used by the CCC were offered to the park in 1944.
Did You Know?
The Fort Dupont Ice Skating Rink is the only public indoor ice rink in Washington, D.C. It is located in Fort Dupont Park at 3779 Ely Place, S.E, Washington, D.C. 20019.