Mass Moments reminds us that on this day – April 13, 1933 – the first enrollees in the Massachusetts Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) arrived at Fort Devens in Ayer. Creating the CCC was an effort by newly elected President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to attack “the catastrophic unemployment and economic dislocation that the Great Depression had brought to the country.” A longtime advocate of conservation, Roosevelt believed that a federally funded “conservation corps” could rescue young men from bread lines and put them to work as a “tree army” and “soil soldiers.” Many of these men later served the country as soldiers in WWII. Former Lowell Superintendent of Schools and “Father of the Lowell National Historical Park” Dr. Patrick J. Mogan is a veteran of the CCC.
…in 1933, the first enrollees of the Massachusetts Civilian Conservation Corps arrived at Fort Devens in Ayer. They were soldiers in a peacetime army that, in the words of the men who served in it, “brought together two wasted resources, the young men and the land, in an effort to save both.” The effort was a huge success, and the CCC was one of the most popular programs of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Over a period of nine years, nearly 100,000 Massachusetts men lived and worked in CCC camps spread across the state. The roads and trails, bridges and overlooks, picnic shelters and log cabins they built in the state’s parks are the Triple C’s living legacy in Massachusetts.