The Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the New Deal: Oregon's Legacy

By Munro, Sarah Baker | Oregon Historical Quarterly, Summer 2008 | Go to article overview

The Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the New Deal: Oregon's Legacy


Munro, Sarah Baker, Oregon Historical Quarterly


LOGGING, FARMING, AND MINing--industries that formed the backbone of Oregon's economy--began sliding during the 1920s and plummeted when the stock market crashed in October 1929. Ten billion board feet of lumber had been produced in Oregon during 1929. The following year, demand for lumber weakened because of a decline in construction, and production decreased 25 percent to 7.5 billion board feet. (1) Drought plagued the dry desert and plateau areas of eastern Oregon, wreaking havoc on farm production and causing increased layoffs in the agricultural sector. Oregon's mining industry also experienced a slowdown. As unemployment rose in Oregon, consumer spending declined, reflecting national trends. Nationally, unemployment peaked at 25 percent in 1933, and many who remained in the workforce were employed at reduced wages. (2) Over half of workers were underemployed or unemployed, impacting many Oregonians and leaving some homeless. In Portland, over 330 people lived at one shantytown at Sullivan's Gulch. (3)

President Herbert Hoover had initiated significant recovery efforts in 1930. Under his leadership, for example, the Federal Reserve System eased credit. Hoover also held conferences in Washington, D.C., encouraging businesses to maintain wages and railroads and utilities to expand construction. He substantially increased the budget for federal public works. (4) As the Depression deepened due to the ensuing banking crisis, however, Hoover's initiatives proved weak and ineffective. The public blamed Hoover for the economic hardships, naming homeless shantytowns "Hoovervilles." Oregon voters joined the rest of the nation in hoping that a political change would bring economic relief.

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president of the United States on March 4, 1933, he launched a barrage of legislation--collectively known as the New Deal--aimed at providing reform, relief, and recovery from the Great Depression. Because Oregon's economy revolved around rural industries that were ravaged by the Depression, Oregon was situated particularly well to benefit from Roosevelt's legislation. During the initial "Hundred Days" of Roosevelt's first term, he introduced and Congress enacted legislation that restructured banking, agriculture, industry, and labor relations. One of Roosevelt's first acts, developed cooperatively by members of both his and Hoover's staffs, was the Emergency Banking Relief Act, which was introduced, passed, and signed into law on the same day. (5)

Major legislation from the Hundred Days that impacted Oregonians also included the National Industrial Recovery Act, which created the Public Works Administration (PWA); the Civilian Conservation Corps Reforestation Relief Act, which established the CCC; the Federal Emergency Relief Act; and the BeerWine Revenue Act, which affected Oregon's brewing industry. Legislation enacted during 1935, called the Second New Deal, launched the Social Security System and, under the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, established the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Collectively, these programs changed the nation, including Oregon, in significant and visible ways.

The public works programs, such as the PWA, CCC, and WPA, created jobs for many unemployed, destitute citizens. Their work dramatically developed or enhanced use of rivers, national forests, state parks, roads and highways, schools, and post offices throughout the state. The year 2008 marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the inauguration of Roosevelt's New Deal and is an opportunity to acknowledge its legacy, a bequest that transformed Oregon. An exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society (OHS), Oregon's Legacy: The New Deal at 75, showcases a variety of projects that changed the face of Oregon during the 1930s.

BUILT UNDER THE PWA, BONNeville Dam generated electricity that, starting in 1938, was transmitted to rural regions, some of which had never before been electrified, including isolated farms and towns in valleys throughout Oregon. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the New Deal: Oregon's Legacy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.