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New York Girls Ask the President for a CCC of Their Own

The Civilian Conservation Corps, established in 1933, employed a quarter of a million young men annually who lived in military-style camps and carried out conservation and construction projects. It proved to be one of the most popular New Deal programs, but it did not include women. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt advocated for a comparable program for young women (dubbed "She-She-She camps"). With the help of Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins ninety such camps for young women were established by 1936. This letter, from eight anonymous young women in upstate New York, asked President Roosevelt for just such a program. (The letter's original spelling has been preserved here.) In June 1935, the Roosevelt administration also established the National Youth Administration which helped young men and women stay in school and provided relief and job training to youth out of school.

Homer, New York

[acknowledged Feb. 11, 1935]

Mr. Roosevelt,

In Homer a lot of us girls think that seeing there is a CCC camp for boys that there should be one for girls.  In a book we read about a military camp for girls, it told how in the morning the girls have to attend school for so long and in the afternoon too.  They had to learn how to sew and nurse the sick.  they had to make clothes for the poor.  . . .  A camp like that would give young girls a place to go.  We are not very old ourselves from 13 on up but we get in a lot of trouble just the same.  And we think you might try to do something about it so that girls in our age could do something like we mentioned and not have to wait until they are 17-18 or 19 years of age.  We no how to sew and cook we use to belong to "4-H and "Girl Scouts" and in school there are a lot of cranky old teachers, and the children think themselves so high above us girls.  If you should care to give us your answer you can broadcast it over the Radio at noon between 5:00-5:30 at station B.E.N. Buffalo if you don't ans. before the 28th of February we will no you aren't going to help us.  Why we are writing is because we want to get away from home get a change in life.  And we thought maybe you would help us.

Don't put this in the papers.  If you do leave out where the Letter came from.

Signed, 

The Eight Secret X's

XXX

Source | Robert Cohen, ed., Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: Letters from Children of the Great Depression (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007), 222.
Creator | Anonymous
Item Type | Diary/Letter
Cite This document | Anonymous, “New York Girls Ask the President for a CCC of Their Own,” HERB: Resources for Teachers, accessed December 10, 2018, https://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/729.

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