Teach PA History
Conserving Pennsylvania Resources: New Deal Programs

1. For further understanding of the CCC and its contribution to our state parks, students can research Blue Knob, Hickory Run, French Creek, Laurel Hill, and Raccoon Creek websites. 2. This lesson explores two of the New Deal programs. Students may wish to continue their studies by investigating other New Deal programs as well. Students could research the other alphabet agencies listed in the Alphabet cartoon, and write a brief paragraph about each of their functions during the Great Depression. 3. In addition to a Federal Arts Project, the New Deal established a Federal Theatre Project. Students may wish to examine primary sources of this program: costume design drawings, theatre bills, etc., and create their own play set in the Great Depression era. 4. One of the subjects discussed in Richard Hood's interview was the degree of involvement the government had in the content of the artwork produced under the Federal Arts Project. Did the artists feel restricted in creativity? Were there certain specifications they had to follow? Richard Hood discusses the ability of the government to fund the project, but successfully stay "hands-off" with content. Could there be a danger of censorship or loss of individual creativity when the government becomes involved with sponsoring art? Discuss. [The Exhibition Poster (Watercolors, Bessemer Gallery) located in Student Handout 3 of this lesson is an interesting visual aid to bring to this discussion.] 5. This lesson explores the legacies of the CCC and the Federal Arts Project, drawing mainly from primary resources set in Pennsylvania. These programs were nationwide however. As an extension, students may wish to select another state to explore the legacies of these programs elsewhere. Pennsylvania was second only to California in number of CCC camps it supported. Students may wish to look at the CCC in California or the Federal Art Project in New York, for instance.

Field Trips

Grey Towers National Historic Site 151 Grey Towers Drive Milford, PA 18337 (570) 296-9624
This is the home of Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the United States Forest Services and past governor of Pennsylvania. It is due to his road work programs and interest in conservation that Pennsylvania was able to be ready for so many CCC camps and projects. Learn more about this influential man by visiting his home.

Parker Dam State Park – CCC Interpretive Center 28 Fairview Road Penfield, PA 15849-9799 (814) 765-0630
Housed in a cabin built by the Civilian Conservaton Corps, this interpretative center offers photographs and video about this program which turned "boys into men". Group tours are available by appointment.

Philadelphia Museum of Art 26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, PA 19130 (215) 684-7863
In 2002 the Philadelphia Art Museum held an incredible exhibit showcasing the work and life of Dox Thrash, a printmaker from the area who worked in a new process of printing called carborundum printing. The museum has acquired some of his work. To inquire about a tour of Depression-era artwork contact the education department at (215) 684-7580.

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