Happy 80th Birthday, WPA

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On this day, April 8,1935, Congress approved the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, establishing the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unemployed people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects. Almost every community in the United States had a new park, bridge or school constructed by the WPA. We need a new New Deal!

Gabriel Milner is Project Manager for The Living New Deal. He is a trained cultural historian who teaches courses in U.S. History at the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University.

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New Deal Maps

Check out our latest map and guide to the work of the New Deal in Washington, D.C. It includes 500 New Deal sites in the District alone, highlighting 34 notable sites, and includes an inset map of the area around the National Mall which can be used for self-guided walking tours.

Take a look at our previous guides, equally comprehensive, covering key New Deal sites in San Francisco and New York City.