April 1935

US and World Events plus Additional Resources


On April 8, 1935, Congress approved the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, a work relief bill that funded the WPA and other programs and agencies such as the Rural Electrification Administration and Resettlement Administration.

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created by President Roosevelt and his administration help relieve poverty during the Great Depression by creating jobs through a national work program and in this way shifted away from direct relief for those able to work. It was officially created by executive order about a month later on May 6, 1935. The ERAA appropriated about $4.8 billion and employed more than 8.5 million people on 1.4 million public projects before it was concluded in 1943. Here are several examples of WPA projects:

Braille transcription was funded by the Works Progress Administration in order to create new areas of library service to under-served populations.

Toy repair projects included dolls designed and made using scrap material. Many discarded toys were also repaired and refurbished for use by children through Toy Lending Libraries, in WPA nursery schools, or given out at Christmas to underprivileged children.

A kitchen project for deaf and hard of hearing people.