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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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  • Arthur Stanley MacArthur - National Youth Administration, by Alison McIntyre
    • May 14, 2019
    My father, Arthur Stanley MacArthur, worked for the National Youth Administration from 1939 until a few weeks after Pearl Harbor when he was transferring to another agency. He was on his way to an appointment when he had a heart attack and died. The only thing I know about the ...
  • Ann Hawkins
    • September 19, 2018
    My father and his two brothers left Ohio when they were in the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. They road the rails to CA and joined the CCC, sending home $75 apiece each month in order to support their families during the great depression. I am working on a book, ...
  • Elizabeth Martin and A.C. Allen - By Mary Allen Hall
    • September 19, 2018
    My parents, Elizabeth Martin and A.C. Allen met each other while working in the NYA program in Newton, Alabama in 1938. My mother was from Enterprise, Alabama and was a recent graduate of Alabama College in Montevallo, Alabama. My dad was a student at API (Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now know ...
  • Dale Thomas Mathews, D.Phil.
    • September 19, 2018
    My late father did his doctoral research on the New Deal in Puerto Rico, which he subsequently published. While the English version, titled "Puerto Rican Politics and the New Deal," has long been out of print, the University of Puerto Rico published a third edition in Spanish in 2007. I ...
  • Russ Czaplewski
    • September 18, 2018
    I am descended from a family that lived on the Resettlement Project at Loup City. The 'Farmsteads' as the project was better known, was one of eight Resettlement projects spread across Nebraska. The Loup City project was home to my grandparents and their growing family during an extended period of ...
  • Madilane Perry, Washnington
    • September 18, 2018
    My parents and my stepfather were participants in various New Deal programs but my father was the most active. He was enrolled in the CCC, worked for the NYA and helped to build Grand Coulee Dam. After that he went into the Navy, he became a Sea Bee and island-hopped ...
  • Ned Pearlstein, Berkeley CA
    • January 1, 2017
    In 1937, when I was just seven years old, my family moved from 92st Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues, to an apartment at 50 West 90th Street. It was a major move for me, since I found myself plunged into the midst of changing environment, thanks to the New ...
  • Philip H Willkie
    • October 27, 2016
    My grandfather was Wendell Willkie(WLW). I grew up in a political laboratory. From the earliest age my father Philip, the only child of WLW talked endlessly about Joseph McCarthy & Roy Cohen, who were destroying America. Dad was an anti communist but he was adamant about these bad characters slandering & ...
  • Steve Worsley
    • October 27, 2016
    I believe that Coit Memorial Tower should be a 1934 Museum with a docent. My story as to why I say that comes from the outer Mission in Depression San Francisco. Just one of those stories about another shattered Irish longshoreman family, a New Deal and the end of prohibition. The 1934 ...
  • Craig B. Wilson
    • January 28, 2016
    My Life in the Civilian Conservation Corps 1933-1934 Carl C. Wilson January 2, 1996 I graduated from Nampa High School in Nampa, Idaho in May 1933. Just before graduation, I heard that President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a desire to find jobs for unemployed youths, had established the Civilian Conservation Corps, soon to be ...
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