Friday, January 25, 2008

Important CCC Anniversary Event Announced!

I am indebted to Bob Audretsch at Grand Canyon National Park for sharing an important press release regarding what will likely prove to be a very interesting Civilian Conservation Corps anniversary event later this year at Grand Canyon’s South Rim.

Like many of the forests and parks where the CCC worked, Grand Canyon National Park existed before the New Deal, and the advent of the CCC, but the park is far different today than it would have been were it not for the work of the CCC.

Here is the press release:

Grand Canyon Celebrates CCC Anniversary

On March 31, 1933 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed legislation creating the Civilian Conservation Corps and on May 29 the first CCC boys arrived at the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon Association and Grand Canyon National Park will mark this seventy-fifth anniversary with an exhibit and a symposium titled “Saving the Park and Saving the Boys, the CCC at Grand Canyon, 1933-1942.” The exhibit, May 31-October 31, will be at South Rim Village Kolb Studio and free and open to the public. A formal opening reception will take place the evening of May 30. The exhibit will start with a symposium featuring scholars, a panel of CCC enrollees, and history walks, May 31 and June 1. Registration for the symposium will begin January 31 by going to the parks website:

Exhibit goers will learn about the despair of the Great Depression, the fear of a possible ‘lost generation’ of young men and the feeling of hope that the CCC brought to poor unemployed young men and their families. Many historic photographs and artifacts, never before viewed by the public, will be on display. Attendees will learn about the many things the CCC accomplished at the Grand Canyon and the positive changes it brought to CCC boys and their families.

The exhibit has been in the planning stages for over two years and is funded by donations from the Grand Canyon Association. Exhibit team members include Bob Audretsch, James Schenck, Pam Frazier, Pam Cox and Michael Anderson. For more information contact Audretsch at or 928-638-7834.

National Park Service historian John Paige said the CCC advanced park development 10-20 years during the program’s first two years. Some have called the 1930s the ‘golden years’ of the park service in large part due to the almost unlimited labor pool provided by the CCC. Grand Canyon National Park had as many as four companies with 200 boys each working simultaneously. Ultimately seven different companies worked at Grand Canyon: 818, 819, 847, 2543, 2833, 3318 and 4814. The most significant CCC accomplishments at Grand Canyon include trail building, the South Rim Community Building, the beautiful stone wall in the Village, the trans canyon telephone line and trail shelters.

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Buffalo Crossing Camp, Eastern Arizona

Buffalo Crossing Camp, Eastern Arizona