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...
Visit the Shenandoah Valley and you’ll meet people who will tell you how lucky they feel to live here. They often seem to love such a mix of the old and the new. The Valley is a vibrant place, but it never seems to lose touch with its roots. It’s a great place to visit, and it’s always a beautiful place to come home to. Our thoughts of gratitude, during this Thanksgiving month.
Armstrong Concert Hall, 702 University Drive. Piano Recital: Alexander Bernstein. George Gershwin: Three Preludes, works by Beethoven, Liszt and Rzewski. Tickets: $25. For more information, call 540-665-4569 or visit su.edu
95 Chalmers Ct. Things To Come. Drama. French film. Doors open 30 minutes before film. Refreshments available. Hosted by Magic Lantern Theater. Admission: $8 general admission. Magic Lantern, MSV and Barns of Rose Hill members: $5. For more information, call 540-678-0963 or visit www.magiclanterntheater.org
J. Frank Hillyard Middle School, 226 Hawks Hill Dr. Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical. Last performance today at 3 p.m. Tickets: $15 for adults and $13 for students and seniors. For more information, call 540-896-9600 or visit www.schultztheatre.com
Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst St. Makerspace Holiday Activity: Ceramic Ornaments. Make your own clay ornaments. Admission: Registration not required. Makerspace admission: adults, $10, youth: $5. Pottery kit: $5, includes 2 pounds of clay, glaze, and firing. For more information, call 1-888-556-5799 or visit www.themsv.org
Carter Center. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-828-8000 or visit bridgewater.edu
41 Court Square. The Royal Opera House Presents film series. Alice Adventures in Wonderland, A Ballet in 3 Acts. Theater members receive 20 percent off and free popcorn. The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet, performing with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Tickets: Adults, $14. Students, $10. Seniors, $12. For more information, call 540-433-9189 or visit www.valleyarts.org/cst
Cooters Place in the Valley, 4768 U.S. Highway 211 West. Live Music at Cooters concert: Totally Unrelated. For more information, call 540-843-2515 or visit facebook.com/CootersLuray
Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 W Main St. My Fair Lady. Last performance today. Produced by The Wayne Theatre. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit waynetheatre.org
Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst St. Virginia Gourd Show and Sale. Meet gourd art experts from the Virginia Lovers Gourd Society. Nov Event admission free, Museum admission, extra fee. For more information, call 1-888-556-5799 or visit www.themsv.org
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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The mountains are majestic all year long, even in the depth of winter. This photo was taken at the Scenic Overlook on Route 64 East, at approximately mile-marker 100.