Herbert H. Lehman and New York's Little New Deal

By Robert P. Ingalls | Go to book overview

generally foreclosed the possibility of additional reforms, Lehman's hold on the executive branch precluded any attempt to dismantle the Welfare State. This political standoff gave the Little New Deal time to win greater acceptance as a part of the state's new status quo.

For Lehman the prospect of war overshadowed domestic events after 1939. His own subsequent evaluation of the period confirms this:

I've always thought that my fourth term, while it did not result in much progressive legislation, was nonetheless a very important period, largely . . . because it became evident to many of us that war was inevitable in Europe, and that in all probability we would be drawn into the conflict, so that it was very necessary to make preparations for that situation, educate people, arouse public opinion, and to take steps to fortify the state, in civil defense, and also to a very considerable extent in military defense. 82

In part because of the war, Lehman announced in May 1942 that he would not run for governor again. Eager to do something connected with the war, he resigned from office on December 2, 1942, leaving Albany a month early in order to take over immediately as director of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Operations. 83 After ten years of helping New Yorkers recover from the Depression, Herbert Lehman went to the aid of people ravaged by the scourge of war.


NOTES
1.
See supra, chap. 1. pp. 14, 17.
2.
Folks to HHL, December 19, 1938, "Folks, Homer", Gen. Corr., 1933-40, HHLP.
3.
George A. Hall to Mrs. Leonard Jones, November 22, 1937, Box 11, Group II, New York Child Labor Committee Papers, New York State Library; see supra, chap. V, p. 120.
4.
NYSFL Bulletin, December 28, 1939.
5.
"Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting of the New York Permanent Conference on Social Security," April 22, 1941, Box 41, Epstein Papers ( Columbia).
6.
HHL Address, October 27, 1938, Public Papers, 1938, p. 577.
7.
HHL Message to the Legislature, January 4, 1939, Public Papers, 1939, p. 22. See also HHL Address, February 11, 1941, Public Papers, 1941, pp. 619-21.
8.
New York Herald Tribune, February 23, 1941, Albany Knickerbocker News, April 4, 1941, New York Times, April 5, 1941 ( CB, 90: 10897; 91: 11119, 11126, HHLP).
9.
This sum included the original proposal for $411.7 million in appropriations plus $3.3 million subsequently recommended in the supplemental budget. HHL Message to the Legislature, March 1, 1939, Public Papers, 1939, pp. 101-3.
10.
HHL Message to the Legislature, January 30, 1939, Public Papers, 1939, p. 55.
11.
New York Times, February 13, 1940 ( CB, 83: 8326).
12.
HHL Memoir, COHC, p. 370. In New York State, retailers naturally opposed the sales tax while real estate interests favored it as a means of relieving the burden of property taxes. In 1934, Republicans fought unsuccessfully to continue the sales tax and increase it from 1 to 2 percent. Percy C. Magnus to HHL, February 16, 1933, "Magnus, Percy C.," Reel 58, GP,

-244-

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Herbert H. Lehman and New York's Little New Deal
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface ix
  • Notes xi
  • Contents xiii
  • Illustrations xv
  • Introduction xvii
  • Notes xix
  • I- from Wall Street to State Street 1
  • Notes 24
  • II- Emergency Unemployment Relief 31
  • Notes 42
  • III- From Emergency Relief to the Welfare State 48
  • Notes 66
  • IV- The Search for Security 71
  • Notes 94
  • V- Defending the Defenseless 102
  • Notes 123
  • VI- Lending Labor a Hand 131
  • VII- The Promise of Parity 148
  • Notes 172
  • VIII- The Advent of Public Housing 182
  • IX- Battling the Utilities 210
  • Notes 226
  • X- The End of an Era 231
  • Notes 244
  • Notes 255
  • Bibliography 257
  • Index 275
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