Today in History: The Birth of the WPA

FDR signed an emergency relief bill in 1935 that eventually created millions of jobs
The WPA employed millions to carry out public works projects.
The WPA employed millions to carry out public works projects. (Underwood & Underwood/Corbis)

April 8, 1935: President Franklin Roosevelt signed a $5 million emergency relief bill, aimed at helping lift the country out of the Great Depression. Among the agencies created by FDR’s bill: The Works Progress Administration, an infrastructure program which hired citizens to build roads, schools, hospitals, etc. The bill eventually cost $880 million, but created millions of jobs. Most of the programs ended after the U.S entered World War II.

April 8, 1952: After contract talks between steel workers and owners failed, President Harry Truman ordered the Army to take control of the industry. Truman ordered the steel industry seized on national security grounds, saying it was vital for the Korean War effort.

Quote of the day

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” — James Madison

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