Roosevelt congratulates the million and a half workers of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
April 17, 1936

To the million and a half young men and war veterans who have been or are today enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps camps, I extend greetings on this third anniversary of the establishment of the first C.C.C. camp. Idle through no fault of your own, you were enrolled from city and rural homes and offered an opportunity to engage in healthful, outdoor work on forest, park and soil-conservation projects of definite practical value to all the people of the Nation. The promptness with which you seized the opportunity to engage in honest work, the willingness with which you have performed your daily tasks, and the fine spirit you have shown in winning the respect of the communities in which your camps have been located merit the admiration of the entire country. You and the men who have guided and supervised your efforts have cause to be proud of the record the C.C.C. has made in the development of sturdy manhood and in the initiation and prosecution of a conservation program of unprecedented proportions.

I recall that on July 17, 1933, at a time when the corps was just getting into stride, I predicted that through the C.C.C. we would graduate a fine group of strong young men, trained to self-discipline and willing and proud to work. I did not misjudge the loyalty, the spirit, the industry, or the temper of American youth.

Although many of you entered the camps undernourished and discouraged through inability to obtain employment as you came of working age, the hard work, regular hours, the plain, wholesome food, and the outdoor life of the C.C.C. camps brought a quick response in improved morale. As muscles hardened and you became accustomed to outdoor work you grasped the opportunity learn by practical training on the job and through camp educational facilities. Many of you rose to responsible positions in the camps. Since the corps began, some 1,150,000 of you have been graduated, improved in health, self-disciplined, alert, and eager for the opportunity to make good in any kind of honest employment.

Our records show that the results achieved in the protection and improvement of our timbered domain, in the arrest of soil wastage, in the development of needed recreational areas, wildlife conservation, and in flood control have been as impressive as the results achieved in the rehabilitation of youth. Through your spirit and industry it has been demonstrated that young men can be put to work in our forests, parks, and fields on projects which benefit both the Nation's youth and conservation generally.

Text courtesy of the New Deal Network.

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