The Works Progress Administration
April 8, 1935
anybody in your family ever been out of work? Hard times caused millions
of workers to lose their jobs during the 1930s. So many people were out
of work that historians call this period the Great Depression. President
Franklin Delano Roosevelt and members of Congress responded to the
emergency by creating the Works Progress Administration (WPA) on April
8, 1935. The WPA was a government agency that made a national
works program. Do you know what a “national works program” is?.
A national works program meant that the federal government would
give millions of people work by hiring them in projects to build
things like schools, bridges, and parks that the public could
use. The WPA hired 8.5 million people on 1.4 million projects in
just a few years!
One part of the WPA was the Federal Writers' Project. This
project gave work to writers who could not find a job. Many
writers who worked for the Federal Writers’ Project became
famous. Saul Bellow, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, and
Ralph Ellison are some of the writers who became famous.
The Federal Writers' Project provided more than entertainment.
It also recorded the stories of 10,000 men and women from
different regions, jobs, races, and even former slaves through
the Folklore project. These stories are important today because
they give us a better idea of what it was like to live in those
times. Who would you interview today if you were given the