Saturday, December 10, 2011
Christmas 1933 marked the first celebration of the holiday in the life of the CCC, and nationwide it was a special event marked by extraordinary efforts to bolster the morale of enrollees in camps from one end of the country to the other. In his book, The Civilian Conservation Corps in Alabama, 1933-1942 by Robert Pasquill, Jr. noted the following:
No doubt that first CCC Christmas dinner in 1933 was a far more promising affair for many enrollees and their families than had been the Christmas of 1932, when there was no New Deal and no Civilian Conservation Corps.
In Coming of Age in the Great Depression: The Civilian Conservation Corps Experience in New Mexico, 1933-1942, Richard Melzer noted:
The December 1936 issue of the North Woodstock, N.H. camp newspaper, The Pioneer, offered this glimpse of life in the camps over the holidays:
(Quoted in Builder of Men: Life in the C.C.C. Camps of New Hampshire by David d. Draves.)
South Carolina veterans camp Co. 2414 at Sumter (S.C.) enjoyed the most publicity in Happy Days when their 1934 Christmas party for the community children enjoyed pictorial coverage.
The social activities of the young men during their off-hours on weekends consumed much newsprint in Happy Days. The CCC boys created their own social life, often in connection with nearby communities during holidays or on the anniversary of the founding of the “Cees.” The commander of Co. 4486 at Liberty (S.C.) organized a Christmas dinner dance with music provided by the Jungaleers of Clemson College.
(From Happy Days and the Civilian Conservation Corps in South Carolina, 1933-1942 by Robert A. Waller, published in The Historian Vol. 64, No. 1, Fall 2001.)
In the December 1937 issue of The Score of 2704 at Camp SCS-14, Chatfield, Minnesota, the editors wrote of their regret at the impending disbandment of the Company, but looked forward to their final Christmas celebration together.