New Deal Sites in New Mexico : 1933
This map identifies the vast accomplishments of the various New Deal programs and projects that took place in New Mexico between 1933-43. This was considered the Great Depression or Dust Bowl Era in our nation and its accomplishments are too frequently unknown or taken for granted. The map focuses on those accomplishments -- public buildings (post offices, courthouses, libraries, schools, etc.; public art in those buildings (murals, paintings, sculptures); parks and monuments (state, national and even local) and we also included most of the 120 CCC camps as a means of alerting you to the fact that much conservation of lands and forests, creation of roads, trails and dams would be found near those camps. Most of the camps are now gone or where some structures still exist, they are being used for another purpose. The same may be true about the hundreds of schools that served rural areas and in small towns. Many are still serving their original purpose while others may now be senior or community seniors or even homes.
What was the New Deal? Some may not know while our elders remember well how the different federally funded programs rose out of the efforts of President Franklin Roosevelt's administration to solve the economic and social destitution this country was facing. It was made up of a variety of work programs with different names that could employ laborers (both skilled and unskilled), professionally trained folks and talented artists, musicians and writers.
By 1935 over half of the state's population of approximately 425,000 had a job with either the WPA, Civil Works Administration, Public Works Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), National Youth Administration and the Rural Electric Administration had been created to bring electricity to our rural areas. The Farm Security Administration hired photographers to record what we looked like at the time and what was getting done. Not shown on the map are all the new Social Security Administration program offices that were set up to start providing monthly financial aid to disabled and elderly and all the banks that have your funds protected thanks to the New Deal's Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC).
In the northeastern and east central areas of the state there was 72.8% of the populace involved with these work opportunities. This was the heavy Dust Bowl area of our state where the soil like in other states was not fit to farm and families had to be moved out to new Resettlement Areas across the state and nation. The federal government worked with state, county and local entities to match workers with the needs of the governmental bodies responsible for serving the public. Our then Governor Clyde Tingley worked closely with FDR to get as much as possible for his state. Consequently this partnership gave everyone HOPE.
In 2008 our nation and state celebrated the 75th anniversary of Roosevelt's New Deal. Hopefully this map will give you a guide to go and see for yourself how the New Deal is still a Good Deal today and that there is still a Great Deal of it across this Land of Enchantment.
We hope you enjoy seeing some New Mexico treasures that you may have missed before.
Funding for this project was provided by the New Mexico Humanities Council and New Mexico Chapter of the National New Deal Preservation Association.
Map Credits: New Mexico Humanities Council
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