What Is the American Way?

Harry L. Hopkins

16 July 1938

“While other nations are building vast armaments, we are building parks, libraries, hospitals and schools on the wartime scale; while other peoples are learning to use gas masks and bombproof shelters, we are improving the lot of the underprivileged, eliminating illiteracy, opening up opportunities for work and play.”

WHAT IS THE AMERICAN WAY?
ALL THEIR WORK IS PUBLIC WORK

“ALL THEIR WORK IS PUBLIC WORK”

The Great Depression and the WPA

In response to the economic and social devastation caused by the stock market crash of 1929, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt initiated several federal programs to ease the suffering of Americans during the Great Depression. The Works Progress Administration, commonly known as the WPA, was one of FDR’s signature relief programs.

“Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose”

Building an Archive in Hard Times

The Great Depression forced a generation of Americans to adopt a wide range of thrifty practices, long before “reuse, recycle and repurpose” became a touchstone of modern life. Clothes were sewn at home, garden produce preserved and salvage yards emptied, as people across the country learned to “make do.”

Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose
“Snipped Narratives

“Snipped Narratives”

Opportunities and Obstacles within the WPA

The Index and Clipping Bureau integrated five categories of white-collar workers: white males, white women, African American men and women, and young people. Many workers, such as Warren Ramsey and George Converse, came from solidly middle-class and college-educated backgrounds.