A Window into New Deal Administration

Recently, Living New Deal Research Associate Andrew Laverdiere discovered a yearbook chronicling the work of the Maine Emergency Relief Administration (MERA) in 1934. Loaded with detailed breakdowns of how relief was administered, the structural organization of the Emergency Relief Administration, and expenditures… read more

Building Bridges, Not Walls
by Harvey Smith

Birdseye View, 1936

Last November, following the election of Donald Trump, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution declaring the City’s commitment to values of multiculturalism and tolerance. “RESOLVED, That no matter the threats…,San Francisco will remain a Sanctuary City; we… read more

Our New Map and Guide to New Deal New York
by Richard Walker

Two years in the making, the Living New Deal’s newest publication, a “Map and Guide to New Deal New York” highlights nearly one thousand public works throughout the five boroughs and describes 50 of the city’s notable New Deal buildings,… read more

Art Review: American Painting of the 1930s
by Richard Walker

American Gothic, Grant Wood, 1930

Art of the 1930s may finally be coming back into fashion—something that New Deal aficionados can celebrate. It has been a long time since a major exhibit of art from the 1930s has been mounted, but curators at the Art… read more

“CCC in Idaho” Goes Digital
by Ivar Nelson

CCC men in Idaho—Preparing dynamite holes for the Salmon River road, 1935

The Depression’s economic derailment dogged Idaho’s rural and urban areas alike. Farmers struggled against low prices, heat, drought, and insects; home and farm mortgages went unpaid; banks closed; teachers were let go, and millworkers were laid off as demand for… read more

Reprising New Deal Fear
by Ira Katznelson

Water cooler: Drinking water reserved for "Colored," Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1939.

Over the course of the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, the country confronted three acute sources of fear: crumbling democratic politics and liberal hopes; ever more sophisticated weaponry; and the racial structure of the Jim Crow South. These sites of concern… read more