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Personal Stories

Personal histories are a vital part of the New Deal legacy. The Living New Deal wants to keep them alive and make them available to everyone.

Please share your family’s story with us. If you have a story of a parent, grandparent or other relative who participated in the New Deal or benefitted from the New Deal in any way, please send us a brief account and any photographs you may have.

Check out Finding New Deal Ancestors for tips on how to perform ancestry research.

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  • Is it Time in America for a New, New Deal? By Marjory Johnson Wood
    • July 9, 2023
    IS IT TIME IN AMERICA FOR A NEW, NEW DEAL? By Marjory Johnson Wood 9/11/2020 (Submitted to this website on July 7, 2023) In 1928 Herbert Hoover was elected President. The following year, in late October,1929, the stock market crashed (the Great Crash), contributing to what came to be known as the Great ...
  • Growing up Roosevelt, A Conversation with Anna Eleanor Seagraves
    • June 10, 2023
    Since 2005, when The Living New Deal began the work of documenting the New Deal’s achievements across the country, we’ve been fortunate to have members of the Roosevelt family on our team. Descendants of FDR and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt have advised and supported our organization from the start. Several ...
  • Floyd Calvin Hardesty - Submitted by Ms. Betty D. Bailey
    • April 18, 2023
    Thank you for the opportunity to share my father's story.  Upon graduation from Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1933, he enlisted in FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).  He was sent to Idaho , where he planted trees and worked on roads.  I pray at least one tree ...
  • Robin Freeman
    • September 28, 2021
    In, perhaps, 2015, I attended a lecture by Grey Brechin which inspired me to put together a string of my experiences which illustrated the profound effect the New Deal has had on my life and how it had been largely and starkly invisible to me and unconnected for some 60 ...
  • Carl F Murray: Farm security Adminstration and NYA Worker
    • September 28, 2021
    I moved to Cherry Lake when I was seven years old, in 1935. My Dad worked for Government program called National Youth Administration (NYA). Youths were brought from cities. The young men were taught to be Carpenters, farming, take the of chicken farms, horses, and cows. The young ladies were taught how ...
  • Ada MacLean Barker: Social Worker and Advocate for the WPA Relief Effort in Georgia. Story by Leslie Larson
    • September 25, 2020
    ADA MACLEAN BARKER, my grand aunt, spent her social worker career fighting for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) relief effort in Georgia. Inspired by Hull House in Chicago, she got a degree in social work and spent her career in the Deep South. She was an elegant and rather academic ...
  • Edward Sweeney - CCC Enrollee
    • May 25, 2020
    My father Edward Sweeney, and his two little brothers, were orphaned when their parents died in the flu pandemic of 1920. He was 2 years old. His single Aunt Kate Shea (later Tighe), picked up the boys from Pennsylvania, and raised them in the Bronx. When my Dad was ...
  • Wallace Rider Farrington High School, by Theresa Schubert
    • May 14, 2019
    If you want the complete, accurate history, of a New Deal site: Wallace Rider Farrington High School, I implore you to reach out to our alumni historian, Mr. Al Torco. He is a living legend---my fear is that he will not be around any longer. He is the keeper of ...
  • Louis Schanker (1903-1981) - Artist and Supervisor in the NYC-WPA, by Lou Siegel
    • May 14, 2019
    We enjoy your website. We are the estate of Louis Schanker. (1903-1981) He was an artist and supervisor in the NYC-WPA. Schanker did the mural at the WNYC studios on the 25th floor of the Municipal building (still there); a mural in the Health and Sciences building of the World's Fair ...
  • Isidore Horowitz, by Dr. Laura Hapke
    • May 14, 2019
    During the Second New Deal, a revolution in aid to working people was born. The Social Security Act brought my uncle, Isidore Horowitz, a migrant from Lithuania (then under anti-semitic Russian rule) to tears. He was unemployed, in his thirties, and with nowhere to turn. A check or notice for him ...
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