The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program for unemployed men, focused on natural resource conservation from 1933 to 1942. As part of the New Deal legislation proposed by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the CCC was designed first, to aid relief of unemployment stemming from the Great Depression and secondly, carry out a broad natural resource conservation program on national, state and municipal lands. The executive order to create the program was introduced by FDR to the 73rd United States Congress on March 21, 1933, and Senate Bill 5.598, the Emergency Conservation Work Act as it was known, was signed into law on March 31, 1933.

The CCC became one of the most popular New Deal programs among the general public and operated in every U.S. state and territories of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The separate Indian Division was a major relief force for Native American reservations.

By the summer of 1933 a number of Camden men had enlisted for work with the CCC, on forestry, road, and other public works projects, which included the construction of a model yacht basin along the Cooper River.

Although the CCC was probably the most popular New Deal program, it never became a permanent agency. A Gallup poll of April 18, 1936, asked "Are you in favor of the CCC camps?"; 82% of respondents said yes, including 92% of Democrats and 67% of Republicans.

The last extension passed by Congress was in 1939. The CCC program continued to be reduced in operations as the Depression waned and employment opportunities improved. Also fewer eligible young men were available after the draft commenced in 1940. Beginning in May 1940, as war raged in Europe, the program began a shift toward national defense and forest protection. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 all federal programs were now focused on the war effort. Most CCC work except for wildland firefighting, was shifted onto U.S. military bases to help with construction. The CCC disbanded one year earlier than planned, as the 77th United States Congress ceased funding, causing it to formally conclude operations at the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 1942. The end of the CCC program and closing of the camps involved arrangements to leave the incomplete work projects in the best possible shape, the separation of about 1,800 appointed employees, the transfer of CCC property to the War and Navy Departments and other agencies, and the preparation of final accountability records. Liquidation of the CCC was ordered by Congress by Labor-Federal Security Appropriation Act (56 Stat. 569) on July 2, 1942; and virtually completed on June 30, 1943. Liquidation appropriations for the CCC continued through April 20, 1948.

Some former CCC sites in good condition were reactivated from 1941 to 1947 as Civilian Public Service camps where conscientious objectors performed "work of national importance" as an alternative to military service. Other camps were used to hold Japanese internees or German prisoners of war. After the CCC disbanded, the federal agencies responsible for public lands administration went on to organize their own seasonal fire crews, roughly modeled after the CCC, which filled the firefighting role formerly filled by the CCC and provided the same sort of outdoor work experience to young people.


Camden Courier-Post - August 16, 1933

43 Camden Recruits Thrive In Chill Conservation Camp
Group Gaining Weight in Vermont Mountains as They Clear Timber
to Make Way for Jam, And Sleep Under Heavy Blankets

Forty-three Camden city and county men with Company 2204, Citizens' Conservation Corps, are now located at Knapp Andrew Camp, Montpelier, Vt ., word received here yesterday disclosed.

E. C. Rochester, in a letter to James Nelson of 930 North Seventh Street, writes "all the boys are gaining in weight and eating good and hearty."

A number of the men at the camp are World War veterans and are widely known in Camden. All recently were transferred to the Vermont camp from Plattsburg. N. Y., where they underwent preliminary training.

Most of the Camden men are keenly interested in local affairs and anxiously await the arrival each day of the mailman carrying several copies of the Courier-Post newspapers.

"We are glad to note," Rochester writes, "that the Pyne Poynt Quoit Club has made the front and right in the running."

Clear Way for Dam

"We are now in the Green Mountains of Vermont, about four miles above the state capital. Our job at present is to clear the mountainside and valley of timber and to make way for one of three dams which will check the ice and flood waters from the Mad River.

"The climate is quite cool here, especially at night. It is necessary to sleep under two or three heavy blankets. It is very dry, high and healthy here. All of us have put on weight and are eating good and hearty."

Edward Mulligan, brother, of James Mulligan, Democratic leader in the Second Ward, and Tom Rozier, another North Camden man, are with Rochester, he writes. Rochester's home is at 734 Elm Street, Mulligan lives at 925 Vine Street and Rozier at 416 North Seventh Street.

Others on Roster

Others from this section at the camp are:

Nicholas Game of 206 Mickle Street, Giuseppe Gerafino, 239 Pine Street; Edward McCrory, 843 Grant Street; F. J. Gillespie, 1173 Liberty Street; Marlin Martin, 909 North Second Street; Remi Capiotti, 513 South Fifth Street; Joseph D'Agostino, 507 South Third Street; G. Pfleger, Atco.

John V. Kinney, 844 York Street; Joseph H. Foster, Pine Hill; Herman P. Campbell, 1935 West River Drive, Delaware Gardens; William L. Carter, 805 Cherry Street; William T. Stoutenburgh, 819 Walnut Street; Michael J. Lancellotti, 208 Benson Street; William Yawerson, 670 Morgan Street; Louis C. Wurst, 730 Birch Street; H. G. Richard, Lindenwold; Clarence Kidd, 1039 North Second Street; Chester Burnett, 710 Spruce Street; Charles Hipple, 927 Liberty Street; R. Asher, 1222 Hyde Park; C. F. Boyle, 927 Liberty Street; William Heston, Mantua.

Anthony Luccio, Hammonton; James J. Hampson, Paulsboro; John Larningan, 229 North Twenty-fourth Street; L. J. Leosner, 101 South Logan Avenue; Louis F. Brecht, Mt. Ephraim; Emory Harkins, Camden; J. William Wadland, Camden; Elwood Rogers, 1038 Federal Street; Richard Peters, Delair; Joseph A. McCallum, Delair’;

William Myers, 136 North Twenty-second Street; Ralph Walker, 705 Baxter Street; Fred Sales, 1001 Chestnut Street, and John L. Fallon, 708 Carman Street.