The 1930s Great Depression brought a new level of hardship to the American experience, where daily life could often be summed up in one word: Desperation.
The U.S. economy was on the ropes after 1929 and by the early 1930s, many American workers had gone from the assembly line to breadlines or marching in union picket lines. Poverty was everywhere.
By 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s answer to the crisis was the New Deal. That program included a national citizen’s relief effort that, among other governmental actions taken, resulted in the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC.
The CCC provided hundreds of thousands of unemployed men with a way off the streets and into military-style work camps whose locations were spread all across the country. The camps were open only to males.
The sites were headquarters for supervised work crews that labored on a variety of public works projects, including the Shenandoah Valley’s Shenandoah National Park and its ambitious Skyline Drive mountain roadway.
The CCC “boys,” as the camp enrollees were called at the time, led a vigorous outdoor life. The camps insulated them from the danger of falling into a state of hopelessness, with no future to look to back home, and kept them away from various sorts of prevailing disreputable behaviors and unhealthy temptations.
Most importantly, they could work hard and send their pay money back to needy families. Whenever they left the camps for good, they often took along newly-acquired job skills. The CCC program continued until the outbreak of World War II.
The very first CCC camp, Camp Roosevelt, had been built on one side of a forested mountain ridge, in eastern Shenandoah County, Va. On the other side, Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park were waiting to be built.Read more...
Once again, the Shenandoah Valley settles in for the Holidays. Special music concerts and shows bring joy, town and city parades and festivals bring folks of all ages together, faith is renewed. It’s true that the nights are the longest this month, but rest assured that they are brighter than ever here in the Valley. From the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, a wish for the most blessed of Seasons, and hope and good cheer for 2018.
311 S. Main St. Small Works Invitational. Runs through Jan 18, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Small works by various local artists. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-801-8779 or visit ValleyArts.org
128 E Martin St. Apollo Jazz Orchestra presents The Nutcracker Suite. Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn suite. Advance tickets: $12. $15 at the door. For more information, call 304-263-6766 or visit apollocivictheatre.org
Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen St. Holiday Art and Craft Market. 8th year. Artwork available from more than 20 local and regional fine artists and artisans. Runs through Dec. 24 For more information, visit berkeleyartsWV.org
41-F Court Sq. The Florida Project. R. Show schedule continues, Final screenings today at 3:05 p.m. and 9:40 p.m. Members save 20 percent and get free popcorn. Tickets: Adults, $9:50. Students and Seniors, $8:50. Matinees before 5 p.m., $8.. For more information, visit valleyarts.org
103 S. Main St. Christmas at OASIS. Exhibition and Window Gallery display continue through December. Free admission. For more information, call 540-442-8188 or visit www.oasisartgallery.org
Frances Plecker Education Center, 780 University Blvd. Dwarf juniper Juniperus procumbens nana bonsai plants. Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. through Dec. 15. Dwarf juniper starter plant, ceramic pot, care sheet included: $20-$25. For more information, visit jmu.edu/arboretum
128 E Martin St. Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, an original adaptation. Runs through Dec. 17. Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets: Adults, $17. Seniors, military personnel and students, $14 Children, $12. For more information, call 304-263-6766 or visit apollocivictheatre.org
336 Belle Grove Rd. Holiday Memories: A Celebration of Antique Toys at Belle Grove Plantation. Guided and candlelight tours run through December. Decorations by area garden clubs. Live music. Refreshments available. Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at quarter past each hour until 3:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings 4-8 p.m., Sunday afternoons 1-5 p.m. For more information, call 540-869-2028 or visit www.bellegrove.org
811 S. Loudoun St. Deck the Walls Holiday Market. Artwork and hand-made items. Runs through Dec. 23, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Hosted by Shenandoah Arts Council. For more information, visit www.shenarts.org
Clearbrook Park, 3300 Martinsburg Pike. Annual Holiday Light Show. Nov. 24 at 5:30 p.m. - Jan. 1 at 9:30 p.m. Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Eve. Lights out at 10 p.m. Regular Admission:Ages 0-1: Free. Ages 2-11: $3. Ages 12 and over: $5. Peak Nights Admission: Dec 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23. Ages 0-1: Free. Ages 2-11: $5. Ages 12 and over: $10. Free hot chocolate. Live entertainment on select nights. Food vendors. Heated event tent. For more information, visit frederickcountyva.gov
Barren Ridge Vineyards, 984 Barren Ridge Road. Open Mic Night Every Thursday evening 6:30-8:30 p.m. Local musicians provide live entertainment. Wine available. Food available. Or bring a picnic meal. For more information, call 540-248-3300 or visit www.barrenridgevineyardsva.com
95 Chalmers Ct. Every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Play old-time music, or just listen. Family friendly event. Barns bar open untill 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.barnsofrosehill.org.
10 S. Market St. A Christmas Carol. Student Matinee. Talkback session follows performance. Hosted by American Shakespeare Center. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com
10 S. Market St. A Christmas Carol. Talkback session follows performance. Hosted by American Shakespeare Center. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com
Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum, 20 N. Loudoun St. Historical park ranger Eric Campbell: Cedar Creek: Critical Points. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-740-4545 or visit shenandoahatwar.org
Opening reception for Painting Virginia on Dec. 7, from 5-7 p.m. Exhibition runs on the second floor, exhibition gallery from Dec. 7 through Feb. 25. For more information, visit waynetheatre.org
Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 W. Main St. Summer Movie Series. Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Refreshements available. Admission: Pay-what-you-will. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit www.waynetheatre.org
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 181 Kernstown Commons Blvd. Polar Express. Tickets: $5, includes activity sheets and a souvenir train ticket. For more information, call 540-313-4060 or visit drafthouse.com/wincheste
Blue Phoenix Cafe and Grocery, 110 W. Washington St. Live music. Every Wednesday morning. For more information, call 540-461-8306
Website background photos are provided by a select group of photographers from across the region who share their own love of the Valley through the lenses of their cameras. Words alone may not really describe the place.
Our regional events listings are always up to date, and we’re not really selling anything on here. In fact, we get no outside funding, but are wholly independent. Like many of our friends and neighbors who also feel blessed to live here, free and independent, surrounded by peace and beauty.
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Jackson Memorial Hall houses the cadet chapel and the VMI Museum.