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Hopkins Pulls Plug on CWA
April, 1934. The controversial Civil Works Administration (CWA) was terminated today by chief administrator Harry L. Hopkins. In November 1933, Hopkins convinced President Roosevelt to launch the temporary relief program to help the unemployed get through the winter with small projects until the Public Works Adminisrtation (PWA) could get into full gear.

Hopkins received $400 million from the PWA to start the program. In February, Congress gave the CWA additional funding. A total of $933 million has been spent by Federal and state governments, and 4 million unemployed Americans were put to work. However, some have criticized the program as wasteful.

CWA supporters point to the program's many accomplishments including 255,000 miles of roads built or improved, over 11.5 million feet of sewer pipe laid, and thousands of airports and playgrounds built or improved. Employment was given not only to laborers, but to more than 50,000 teachers hired for rural schools and 3,000 artists put to work painting murals in post offices and other government buildings.

Photo of Sewer
CWA Project 3993 rebuilt sewers in Minnesota

Photo of Log Cabin
CWA Project 2057 built this nursery building in Minnesota

Photo of Ice Palace
Critics wonder: is this a good use of Federal funds? Constructed of 168 tons of ice, this 'New Deal Ice Palace' was built on Minnesota's Lake Bemidji for the annual winter carnival.

Source: Otis L. Graham, Jr. and Meghan Robinson Wander, Franklin D. Roosevelt: His Life and Times, New York, NY: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1985.