Essay The Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fera

Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) Collection

The New Deal under Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-34) attempted to provide recovery and relief from the Great Depression by the establishment of a number of emergency relief programs. Among these the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) program, the first of his major relief operations, provided state assistance for the unemployed and their families. Rather then having large numbers of workers on the dole, Roosevelt believed in work relief, or payment for work performed, to help maintain the morale of the recipients. Although more costly, this program and others provided work for over 20 million people.

The following collection documents FERA projects established in King County. These include street construction, bridge building and sewer laying projects; park grounds and playfield improvements; school and public building construction and repair; land clearing, landscaping, wood cutting and land slide prevention; ditching, dredging, flood control and waterway improvement projects; establishment of FERA offices and stores; creation of recreation projects for children; organization of furniture, stove and tool repair, sewing, clothing distribution, boot and shoe repair, toy-making shops.

About the Database

This database was produced as part of the Crossing Organizational Boundaries IMLS Grant. The results of this grant project are also showcased on the King County Snapshots web site. The information for the Federal Emergency Relief Administration Collection was researched and prepared by the IMLS Grant, UW Libraries Special Collections Division, and Cataloging staff in 2002-2003. Not all the photographs from the collection were included in this database: the database consists of 274 digital images chosen from a group of approximately 845 photographic prints. The photographic prints were scanned as a 3000 pixel TIFF image in 8-bit grayscale, resized to 640 pixels in width and compressed into JPEG format using Photoshop 6.0 and its JPEG quality measurement 3.The scanned images were then linked with descriptive data using the UW CONTENTdm program. The original collection resides in the UW Libraries Special Collections Division as the Federal Emergency Relief Administration Collection no. 263.


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Federal Emergency Relief Administration Facts for kids
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on Federal Emergency Relief Administration for kids.

Facts about the Federal Emergency Relief Administration for kids

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 1: The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) was the first mass public assistance program put into effect by President Roosevelt's Administration under the New Deal.

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 2: The Federal Emergency Relief Act, was passed by Congress on May 12, 1933. The law provided for cooperation by the Federal Government with states to relieve the hardship and suffering caused by unemployment.

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 3: The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) was created by the law and allocated an initial fund of half billion dollars to help those in need.

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 4: FERA was not initially established to create programs for the unemployed, its purpose was to channel government money to state agencies to fund their local relief projects

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 5: FDR appointed the dynamic Harry Hopkins, who was the chairman of the New York State Temporary Emergency Relief Administration, as director of the FERA program on May 22, 1933 who took charge and started work on the program and immediately took action

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 6: Harry Hopkins set up a makeshift office in the halls of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a U.S. government agency, created in 1932 by the administration of Herbert Hoover. The purpose of the RFC was to facilitate economic activity by lending money during the Great Depression

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 7: Harry Hopkins appointed staff and immediately began collecting information. He sent telegrams to the Governors of the 48 states that they should set up state organizations to allow him to coordinate the program

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 8: It is said that Harry Hopkins disbursed over $5 million to eight states in his first two hours in his new job. He was reacting to FDR's request to get adequate and speedy help to the unemployed. FDR is also said to have advised Harry Hopkins to ignore the politicians

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 9: Home Relief Bureaus and Departments of Welfare for Poor Relief were established but by the fall of 1933 it was apparent that neither FERA nor the Public Works Administration (PWA) had significantly reduced unemployment

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 10: Harry Hopkins feuded with ultra prudent Harold L. Ickes, who ran the Public Works Administration (PWA) which issued contracts for heavy constructions projects that improved the nation's infrastructure and invigorated America’s "core industries".

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 11: The slow moving PWA focused on heavy construction projects that benefited skilled construction workers, engineers and architects but was not conducive to large scale job creation.

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 12: Harry Hopkins realized that unless the federal government acted quickly a massive number of the unemployed would be in real distress once winter set in. He voiced his fears to FDR who agreed to take action and the idea for creating another government agency, the Civil Works Administration (CWA) was born

Continued...

Facts about the Federal Emergency Relief Administration for kids

Facts about the Federal Emergency Relief Administration for kids
The following fact sheet continues with facts about Federal Emergency Relief Administration for kids.

Facts about Federal Emergency Relief Administration for kids

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 13: Faced with continued high unemployment and concerns for public welfare during the coming winter of 1933-34, FDR authorized FERA to establish the Civil Works Administration (CWA) as a $400 million short-term measure to get people to work.

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 14: On November 9th, 1933, an executive order created the Civil Works Administration (CWA) to provide aid to American men and women who labored on public works projects.

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 15: The Civil Works Administration (CWA) was planned to be short-lived and last only through the 1933-1934 winter. 

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 16: Unlike the Public Works Administration (PWA) who worked via construction firms, the Civil Works Administration (CWA) hired workers directly and put them on the federal government's payroll.

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 17: That winter the CWA employed 4 million people, including 300,000 women. The men hired by the CWA agency built 40,000 schools, 500,000 miles of roads and 1000 airports. Women were employed as clerical workers and in  in such civil works projects as sanitation surveys,  park beautification, public records surveys, and museum development.

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 18: The cost of the CWA was huge and the program spent nearly $1 billion dollars in just 5 months

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 19: Harry Hopkins improvised to obtain funds and poured unallocated PWA funds into the CWA to finance light construction jobs helping unskilled and unemployed people through the winter of 1933/34

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 20: FDR became alarmed at the amount of money the CWA was spending and did not want Americans to get used to the idea that the federal government would provide them with jobs.

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 21: To emphasize that the CWA had been a temporary measure the agency was closed down by Harry Hopkins in April 1934. The agency was restructured and FERA’s program of direct cash assistance was abandoned, and work relief programs were adopted

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 22: The Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of April 1935 was passed and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created to provide public employment. President Roosevelt appointed Harry L. Hopkins to administer the WPA which went on to generated millions of public jobs for many unskilled, unemployed workers

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 23: Following the restructuring, the FERA consisted of three divisions: public works, social service and rural rehabilitation. Works included the construction of freezing and processing plants and establishing a fishing cooperative, a cattle program and a a vagrancy program.

Federal Emergency Relief Administration Fact 24: During its first year FERA provided help to an estimated 17 million poverty stricken Americans. By the time FERA ended in 1935 the agency had helped 20 million Americans, 16% of the population, at $3.1 billion dollars until its responsibilities were taken over by the Social Security Board and the WPA in 1935.

Facts about Federal Emergency Relief Administration for kids

Federal Emergency Relief Administration for kids - President Franklin Roosevelt Video
The article on the Federal Emergency Relief Administration provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following Franklin Roosevelt video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 32nd American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945.

Federal Emergency Relief Administration

● Interesting Facts about Federal Emergency Relief Administration for kids and schools
● Summary of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration in US history
● Federal Emergency Relief Administration of important, key events
● Franklin Roosevelt Presidency from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945
● Fast, fun facts about the Federal Emergency Relief Administration
● Foreign & Domestic policies of President Franklin Roosevelt
● Franklin Roosevelt Presidency and Federal Emergency Relief Administration for schools, homework, kids and children

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