Images of the Great Depression in Ohio: Documentary Portraits Revisited

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"The country demands bold, persistent experimentation."

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1932

The New Deal's bold experiments changed Ohio's built and natural environments.  Just hours after taking the oath of office, President Roosevelt called a meeting with advisors to seek input on creating a work program for millions of idle young men.  The result was the Civilian Conservation Corps, managed by the U.S. Army.  Within weeks, enrollment was announced in Ohio and 14,000 young men signed up.

Despite political differences between Ohio's leaders and the Roosevelt administration, the state eagerly took advantage of federal programs.  As quickly as federal assistance was made available, Ohio proposed projects and mechanisms for administering federal relief programs.

Beginning with the CCC, the Federal Emergency Relief Act and the Civil Work Administration, New Deal programs sought to repair the nation's economy and heal the national psyche.  No project was too large, and none too small, if it created jobs and restored dignity.  And each one was captured by the camera.