Rockton Historical hosts nostalgic tribute to ‘Dollar-A-Day Boys’
By Jean Seegers
Rockton Township Historical Society, Talcott Free Library and Friends of Talcott Library hosted author, songwriter and filmmaker Bill Jamerson who provided a nostalgic look at the 1930’s Federal Work Program – The Civilian Conservation Corps ( CCC). The program was held April 6, at the historical society museum, 529 Green St, Rock-ton.
Jamerson began the program with a short film that was part of a 1992 documentary he produced for an acclaimed Michigan Public Television program about the CCC.
Throughout the one hour program, Jamerson sang original songs about life in the CCC, and read from his novel “Big Shoulders” a coming-of-age story of a Detroit teenager who enlisted in the CCC.
Initiated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933, the CCC and WPA (Workers Progress Administration) put over 3.5 million men to work during the Great Depression. The programs ended in 1942, after nine years.
Known as the “Dollar-a-Day Boys,” single men ages 17 through 25 were eligible to join the CCC program. They were able to earn $25 per month The program was administered by federal agencies and run as military projects. The CCC and WPA Programs were spread across 19 states.
CCC’s were involved in erosion control. They worked in the countryside cutting trees, planting, laying roads and building dams. Members of the WPA Program worked primarily in the cities.
“ The C’s were a voluntary program, but sometimes kids who were running the streets and getting into trouble were given the option of 6 months in jail or a year of working for the CCC,” Jamerson said.
“Not everyone was in favor of the work programs,” he said. “Some didn’t like
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