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New Deal History: Revisited & Revised

News items that discuss and rethink the New Deal and its impact on America.

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  • The History of the World in One Mural
    • August 28, 2015
    It's well known that there are some WPA murals in Bronx's DeWitt Clinton High School, notably one called "The History of the World".  But who knew it was a monumental work 194 feet long?  One thousand square feet in total, it is a kind of Sistine Chapel of New Deal ...
  • Notes from the Field: Preserving The WPA's Imprint
    • June 26, 2015
    Jay Morris, of Livermore, California, writes: I have lived in Livermore, California, for more than 38 years, 32 of those years on the old South Side of town. This is the original housing area in Livermore. In my time there, I have noticed many contractor stamps detailing who installed the sidewalks, ...
  • Fort Drive Improvements - Washington DC
    • June 5, 2015
    According to Work: A Journal of Progress, WPA crews did roadway excavation and other work on Fort Drive at the Alice Deal School in the district's northwest quadrant. ...
  • Recovering Government Funded Abstract Muralism
    • May 11, 2015
    For almost a year, between midnight and 4 a.m., conservator Gillian Randell, of the restoration firm EverGreene Architectural Art, examined and, with surgical precision, scraped away at the walls of the Goldwater Memorial Hospital, Roosevelt Island, New York City, in anticipation of its demolition. She worked at night because many ...
  • A Forgotten Arts Competition – For Ships!
    • April 16, 2015
    Did you hear the one about the New Deal competition to decorate round-the-world passenger-cargo ships? No? You’re not alone. Few people know of this 1940 Section of Fine Arts competition, which generated over 70 pieces of art for six ships. Living New Deal Associate Wayne Yanda has been researching this competition ...
  • Rediscovering Oral Histories of the WPA
    • December 29, 2014
    Although most widely remembered for its construction and art projects, another of the WPA’s missions was putting unemployed historians and writers back to work.  In Orange County, California, this materialized in the form of WPA Project #3105—an exhaustive chronicling of the county’s history, told through diverse topics such as fashion, ...
  • When Louis Kahn and Roosevelt Created a New Jersey Utopia
    • December 9, 2014
    Author Perdita Buchan has written a lovely encomium to Louis Kahn's modernist houses set in the New Town of Jersey Homesteads (now Roosevelt) created by the New Deal's Resettlement Administration.  Along the way she extolls Kahn's design for the Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, New York City, built after ...
  • The Roosevelts Visit the Kaiser Shipyards During WWII
    • October 17, 2014
    Thanks to Lincoln Cushing at the Kaiser-Permanente archives, we discovered that FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt both visited the Kaiser shipyards on the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington during the Second World War.  Kaiser's shipyards cranked out merchant ships to support the war effort at an unprecedented rate, using mass production ...
  • Mapping New Deal New York and Washington, DC
    • August 20, 2014
    The Living New Deal is currently engaged in a major effort to expand our coverage of New Deal sites in and around Washington and New York City.  Because these are two central places in the national consciousness, they are key to educating the American people about the legacy of the ...
  • The Legacy of the WPA in Inglewood, California
    • August 16, 2014
    Inglewood Today has done a nice piece on the legacy of the New Deal in the South Los Angeles community of Inglewood. Read the whole piece here. See the Living New Deal's record of Inglewood sites. ...
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