Enrollee sighting through an engineer’s level at camp SCS-NC-5, Yanceyville, North Carolina -- National Archives-College Park 35G No 263 (click to enlarge)
The Civilian Conservation Corps played a critical role in the history of the Soil Conservation Service, predecessor to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. March 31, 2008, marks the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt’s signing of the law authorizing the Emergency Conservation Work, the earlier official name of the CCC. As Governor of New York, FDR had hired unemployed youth to reforest abandoned farmland. In 1932, one-fourth of America's men between the ages of 15 and 24 could not find work. Another 29 percent worked only part-time. Incoming President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed on March 21, 1933, that Congress create "a civilian conservation corps to be used in simple work, not interfering with normal employment, and confining itself to forestry, the prevention of soil erosion, flood control, and similar projects."