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"Deerfield First To Receive Work Relief Allotment" article from Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette newspaper

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The Civil Works Administration was one of the most dramatic and radical programs of the New Deal. Organized in November of 1934, it placed nearly four million men and women on work relief projects in six weeks. The program lasted only five months but was an important precursor to the more famous WPA (Works Progress Administration, 1933 to 1935). This article describes some of the initial "allotments" (federal money and jobs) to Franklin County towns. The Daily Recorder-Gazette claims that the program will employ "every able-bodied man [on welfare!] in Deerfield." The goal is to cut the welfare rolls in half. Greenfield's plan to construct a "surface sewer" to handle rain runoff is typical of the labor intensive nature of many CWA projects. Despite its popularity, the CWA was often accused of "leaf raking" or "made work" just to keep the unemployed busy.


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