Sixty days into the “First Hundred Days” of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency, he updates the nation on the progress they have made, and what is in store for the future. May, 7th, 1933 he uses the fireside chat as a platform to push forward proposed bills that Congress had yet to act upon and encourage his nation to stand behind him.
The first opportunity he speaks of is employing jobless young men, which will be later be known as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Roosevelt intended for this program to employ a quarter of a million men, especially those who had dependents while sending them to work in forestry and flood prevention projects. It would be a way of boosting income for families that had nothing. Roosevelt says, “This is a big task because it means feeding, clothing and caring for nearly twice as many men as we have in the regular army itself. In creating this civilian conservation corps we are killing two birds with one stone. We are clearly enhancing the value of our natural resources and second, we are relieving an appreciable amount of actual distress.” (1933) According to The Enduring Vision, looking back at the CCC, it seems to have accomplished exactly what Roosevelt had intended. This early relief program did employ jobless youths in projects such as park maintenance and restoration, reforestation, erosion control and so on. “By 1935 half a million young men were earning thirty-five dollars a month in CCC camps-a godsend to desperate families.” (737)
Secondly, Roosevelt talks about his request to Congress to set up a relief fund in the Tennessee Valley. He says, “It will add to the comfort and happiness of hundreds of thousands of people and the incident benefits will reach the entire nation.”(1933) Though the address of this idea was short and to the point in the fireside chat the text books concludes that “the most innovative program of the Hundred Days was the Tennessee Valley Authority (ATV).” (Enduring Vision, 738) The...
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