Name: Date: Period: New Deal Cereal Box Project

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  1. AAA

  2. CCC

  3. FLS

  4. FSA

  5. Emergency Banking Act

  6. FDIC

  7. FAP

  8. FERA

  9. FHA

  10. FWP

  11. NLRA

  12. PWA

  13. SEC

  14. SSA

  15. WPA

  16. TVA

  17. CWA



New Deal Cereal Box Project
Your Task: President Roosevelt has decided that his New Deal projects need more publicity. The radio and newspaper ads he’s been running aren’t reaching a large enough audience. Kellog’s has just released the first cereal, Corn Flakes, and it has been incredibly popular! President Roosevelt has asked you to design a cereal that will be named after and advertise for one of his New Deal programs. His specifications are outlined below.

  1. Cover an empty cereal box with colored paper.

  1. Front of box:

Use the research to create a New Deal box which includes at least the listed criteria.

Complete name of the New Deal program and new cereal name

Abbreviation of the New Deal program

Art relating to the program ( picture for the front of box)

A phrase or slogan about the program

Purpose of the New Deal program

  1. Top of box:

Dates of program

Purpose of program (relief, reform, recovery)

4. Side panel one:


• Following the “Nutrition Facts” format found on a cereal box, create a “Program Effects on the Economy” table that indicates an increase, decrease or no change of at least these five categories. Simply use arrows to indicate what happened.

Unemployment rate

Government spending



Role of government

Biographical information about Franklin D. Roosevelt

5. Side panel two:

Description of the program in paragraph form

Description of end of program or its current-day status

6. Back panel:

The entire back of the box should have a game, word search, puzzle or cartoon about the New Deal program. Suggestions for puzzles and games:


Created in 1933, the AAA paid farmers for not planting crops in order to reduce surpluses, increase demand for seven major farm commodities, and raise prices.  Farm income rose, but many tenants and share-croppers were pushed into the ranks of the unemployed.  In 1936 the Supreme Court voided the AAA.

Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) / Agriculture Adjustment Administration (AAA)

In order to help people keep their houses, the HOLC refinanced mortgages of middle-income home owners. The AAA tried to raise farm prices. It used proceeds from a new tax to pay farmers not to raise specific crops and animals. Lower production would, in turn, increase prices.

Farmers killed off certain animals and crops as they were told to by the AAA. Many could not believe that the federal government was condoning such an action when many Americans were starving. Declared

Within days of his inauguration in 1933, President Roosevelt called Congress into special session and introduced a record 15 major pieces of legislation. One of the first to be introduced and enacted was the AAA, the Agricultural Adjustment Act.
For the first time, Congress declared that is was "the policy of Congress" to balance supply and demand for farm commodities so that prices would support a decent purchasing power for farmers. This concept, outlined in the AAA, was known as "parity."

AAA controlled the supply of seven "basic crops" – corn, wheat, cotton, rice, peanuts, tobacco and milk – by offering payments to farmers in return for taking some of their land out of farming, not planting a crop.

LeRoy Hankel says there only a few farmers who refused to take the government payments. "There's a few that said, 'The government isn't going to tell me what to do.' There was a few of them. Now, I don't think there was too many." Most farmers couldn't afford not to take the government payments.

In 1937, the Supreme Court ruled that the AAA was unconstitutional, but the basic program was rewritten and again passed into law. Even critics admitted that the AAA and related laws helped revive hope in farm communities. Farmers were put on local committees and spoke their minds. Government checks began to flow. The AAA did not end the Depression and drought, but the legislation remained the basis for all farm programs in the following 70 years of the 20th Century.

This idea of supporting farmers by limiting supply has also produced controversy. Some critics point out that only seven of the hundreds or thousands of different crops grown by farmers are eligible for payments. No livestock producers are included. Farmers also continue to produce more and more despite the limitations the government imposes. New technologies make it possible to grow much more on the same amount of land.

Civilian Conservation Corps CCC

It's ironic that the first "C" in the CCC refers to the "Civilian" Conservation Corps because the program was actually run by the U.S. Army. The CCC was a public works program that put more than three million young men and adults to work building roads and trails in parks, building conservation dams, building campgrounds, planting trees, draining swamps, replanting grazing land, renovating historic buildings and stringing telephone lines.

By all accounts, the CCC was one of the most popular New Deal programs. It may have set a record for the short time between idea and implementation.

  • FDR took office on March 4, 1933. He immediately called Congress into special session.

  • The CCC bill was introduced in both houses on March 27.

  • The bill passed both houses on March 31, four days later.

  • FDR signed it, appointed an administrator and brought in the military.

  • The first enrollee was inducted April 7, 1933, just 37 days after FDR's inauguration.

Native Americans and African Americans were also included in the CCC. In all, there were 80,000 Native Americans who joined the CCC and worked on conservation projects on some of the land that they had lost through treaty or war.

There were also 250,000 African Americans who enrolled in the CCC. Black membership in the CCC was limited to 10 percent of the overall membership, roughly the percentage of blacks in the national population. However, African Americans were actually worse off during the Depression, so this race-based quota was a form of discrimination.

In the early years of the CCC, some camps were integrated, but this provoked complaints from some local communities. So, in July, 1935, the integrated camps were disbanded and 150 all-black companies were set up – despite the fact that the CCC law contained a clause outlawing discrimination based on race. The CCC Director, Robert Fechner, justified he decision by saying, "segregation is not discrimination." Many others in FDR's administration disagreed, but the segregation of CCC camps stood.
At most camps, the days were long and hard. But in the evening, there was time for games, education classes, and even plays and variety shows put on by the enrollees. Most of those who adjusted to the military discipline re-enlisted when their six months was up. The men could stay in the CCC up to two years.

By 1941 when it was disbanded, the CCC had employed almost 3.5 million men. Some estimates are that they planted 2.5 billion trees, protected 40 million acres of farmland from erosion, drained 248,000 acres of swamp land, replanted almost a million acres of grazing land, built 125,000 miles of roads, fought fires, and created 800 state parks and 52,000 acres of campgrounds. But the biggest legacy of the CCC may have been the hope it provided both the young men and their families.

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

This environmental program put 2.5 million unmarried men to work maintaining and restoring forests, beaches, and parks. Workers earned only $1 a day but received free board and job training. From 1934 to 1937, this program funded similar programs for 8,500 women.

The CCC taught the men and women of America how to live independently, thus, increasing their self esteem.

Fair Labor Standards Act FLSA

Since 1912, Eleanor Roosevelt and other social reformers rallied for the passage of legislation establishing a minimum wage and a forty-hour work week, as well as the abolishment of child labor. ER's service on New York's Factory Investigation Commission, which was established after the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in 1911, contributed to her knowledge of and dedication to labor reform. ER also testified before state committees on the matter of protective labor legislation during the time FDR was governor of New York

During the second half of the 1930s, FDR struggled to continue to pass his New Deal legislation. This difficulty can be attributed to growing conservative opposition, as well as the regional and sectional tensions of the Democratic party. Nevertheless, in 1938 the Fair Labor Standards Act, which contained many of ER's labor concerns passed through the Congress. The act prohibited child labor and required industry to adopt in stages a forty-cent hourly minimum wage, as well as established a forty-hour work week. The act did exempt the agriculture industry, domestic service, and certain other service categories. The FLSA ended up being the last piece of New Deal legislation passed.



The FSA was created in 1937 (formerly called the Resettlement Administration in 1935) to aid sharecroppers.  The FSA set up temporary housing for "Okies" and "Arkies" (Dust Bowl refugees from Oklahoma and Arkansas) who migrated to California in hope of finding work.

Farm Security Administration (FSA)

The FSA loaned more than $1 billion to farmers and set up camps for migrant workers.

One of the unintended consequences of the AAA was that landowners used new government payments to buy tractors. Farmers who had been renting a small parcel of land and farming it with horses were displaced by the landowner who now only needed one farmer and a tractor instead of several with horses.
Walter Ballard was a tenant farmer in Texas working with horses and "making a decent living." Then the landlord "seen he could buy tractors up," and Walter quotes the landlord as saying, "'You get off. I don't need you no more.'"

Walter's story was repeated across the south and the plains. This problem reached the attention of the nation, and FDR responded by setting up the agency that became the FSA.

Elroy Hoffman (right) of York was one of the farmers who took out a government loan to start farming. He remembers how it troubled him to go into debt. " When I got that FSA loan, it was for a $1,020, and I looked at the check and thought, 'Oh, my God, I'll never on God's earth pay that off, you know.' And now, what's $1,000 now?"

The FSA loaned money to tenant farmers (renters) at low interest rates. The FSA also built model cooperative farmsteads for farmers who had been forced to receive relief (now known as "welfare"). The agency built camps in California for Okies and other migrant workers.

The loan program was the main effort of the agency and thousands of tenant farmers were able to stay on the land because of them. Many were able to earn enough ahead to actually buy their farms outright. Elroy did not. He remained a renter all his life, but he was able to make a living.

One of the other unique aspects of the FSA program was that the agency insisted that their borrowers learn the basics of modern bookkeeping. For some, it was their first training in business skills.

Madge May and her husband Lynn of Hickman, Nebraska, borrowed money from the FSA in the late 30s. The loan allowed them to stay on the farm and gradually develop other businesses. Madge began selling the chickens she was raising, killing and cleaning. She sold them in town for "a dollar and a half a chicken." Lynn started a feed franchise and then a propane gas delivery business. All the way along, Madge used the bookkeeping skills she had learned from the FSA. Finally, she went to work in Lincoln and became the head bookkeeper for a high-end clothing store.

Emergency Banking Act

The economic depression in the early 1930s had a disastrous impact on the banking system in America. Private banks which had invested in stocks and shares found that the Wall Street Crash had severely reduced their funds. In December, 1930, the Bank of the United States was forced to close. Many banks found it difficult to continue and within a few years a fifth of all banks in America were forced to close. As a consequence, around 15% of people's life-savings had been lost.

By the beginning of 1933 the American people were starting to lose faith in their banking system and a significant proportion were withdrawing their money and keeping it at home. When Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected as president, he made it clear that his first concern would be to solve this banking crisis. The day after his inauguration he called Congress into a special session and declared a 4-day bank holiday.

On 9th March, 1933, Congress passed the Emergency Banking Relief Act which provided for the reopening of the banks as soon as examiners had found them to be financially secure. Within three days, 5,000 banks had been given permission to be re-opened.

Later that year Congress passed the 1933 Banking Act. The Federal Reserve Board was given tighter control of the investment practices of banks and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was set up to insure all deposits in banks up to $5,000.

To secure public support, officials formulated a plan that relied on orthodox banking procedures. Few members of Congress knew what was contained in the Administration's bill when they convened in extraordinary session at noon on March 9. In fact, Henry B. Steagall, Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency, purportedly had the only copy of the bill in the House. Waving the copy over his head, Steagall had entered the House chamber, shouting, "Here's the bill. Let's pass it."5 After only 40 minutes of debate, during which time no amendments were permitted, the House passed the bill, known as the Emergency Banking Act. Several hours later, the Senate also approved the emergency legislation intact.

The Emergency Banking Act legalized the national bank holiday and set standards for the reopening of banks after the holiday. The Act expanded the RFC's powers as a means of dealing with the crisis then threatening the banking system. It authorized the RFC to invest in the preferred stock and capital notes of banks and to make secured loans to individual banks.

To insure an adequate supply of currency, the Act provided for the issuance of Federal Reserve Notes, which were to be backed by U.S. government securities. The Federal Reserve Banks were empowered to advance the new currency to member banks without requiring much collateral. After the Act was signed into law, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing promptly went into 24-hour production to manufacture the currency.

The President subsequently issued a proclamation extending the holiday in order to allow time for officials to reopen the banks. In his first "fireside chat," delivered on March 12, President Roosevelt reviewed the events of the past several days and outlined the reopening schedule. Following proper certification, member banks in the twelve Federal Reserve Bank cities were to reopen on March 13. Member banks in some 250 other cities with recognized clearinghouses were to reopen on March 14. Thereafter, licensed member banks in all other localities were to reopen. The President indicated that the Secretary of the Treasury already had contacted the various state banking departments and requested them to follow the same schedule in reopening state nonmember banks. Before concluding his radio address, the President cautioned that he could not promise that every bank in the nation would be reopened. About 4,000 banks never reopened either because of the events of the previous two months or the bank holiday itself.

The task of implementing the Emergency Banking Act primarily was the responsibility of the Secretary of the Treasury. Under the Act, licenses for all member banks, both national and state, were to be issued by the Secretary. (State nonmember banks were to be licensed by the state banking departments.) The Treasury, however, demanded that each of the Federal Reserve Banks approve of the reopening of banks in their respective districts. The Federal Reserve Board balked at this demand, preferring instead that the Treasury Department shoulder the entire burden of reopening member banks. The controversy was resolved in the Treasury Department's favor. It was agreed that licenses would be issued by the Secretary of the Treasury upon the recommendation of the district Federal Reserve Bank, the chief national bank examiner and the Comptroller of the Currency. Several hundred banks soon reopened for business on the certification of the Treasury. As the reopenings proceeded, public confidence increased significantly and widespread hoarding ceased.


To restore confidence in banks and encourage savings, Congress created the FDIC to insure bank customers against the loss of up to $5,000 their deposits if their bank should fail.  Created by the Glass-Steagall Banking Reform Act of 1933, the FDIC is still in existence.

What is the FDIC?

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC for short, is a part of the federal government. That means it has the ability to make rules that affect banks in all 50 states, District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico. If it was part of a state government, it could only make rules that affected banks in that state alone. The FDIC's biggest job is insuring the savings of millions of Americans in all the FDIC insured banks across the country, even the savings of kids. The FDIC also visits banks on a regular basis to make sure they are following the rules they need to. These rules, called regulations, make sure the bank operates profitably and fairly. For example, one rule banks have to follow is called the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. It says that a bank can't refuse to loan money to someone just because of his or her color, religion, national origin or for a number of other reasons. A bank CAN refuse to loan money to someone if it thinks (by looking at how much someone earns and how they've paid off other bills) the person will not repay the loan.

When a bank has a sign on it that says "Insured by FDIC" it means that if the bank doesn't have enough money to pay back the people it owes money to, including the bank's depositors, and is closed, the FDIC will make sure all of the depositors get their money, up to the insurance limit which is $250,000. To be insured by the FDIC, a bank must prove it is being run profitably and fairly.

From 1929 to 1933, bank failures resulted in losses to depositors of about $1.3 billion. Before the FDIC was in operation, large-scale cash demands of fearful depositors often struck the fatal blow to banks that might otherwise have survived.

Since the FDIC went into operation, bank runs no longer constitute a threat to the banking industry.

This act:

  • Establishes the FDIC as a temporary government corporation

  • Gives the FDIC authority to provide deposit insurance to banks

  • Gives the FDIC the authority to regulate and supervise state nonmember banks

  • Funds the FDIC with initial loans of $289 million through the U.S. Treasury and the FRB

  • Extends federal oversight to all commercial banks for the first time

  • Separates commercial and investment banking (Glass-Steagall Act)

  • Prohibits banks from paying interest on checking accounts

  • Allows national banks to branch statewide, if allowed by state law.

Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)

Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) was the new name given by the Roosevelt Administration to the Emergency Relief Administration (ERA) which President Herbert Hoover had created in 1932. FERA was established as a result of the Federal Emergency Relief Act and was replaced in 1935 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

ERA under Hoover gave loans to the states to operate relief programs. One of these, the New York state program TERA (Temporary Emergency Relief Administration), was set up in 1931 and headed by Harry Hopkins, a close adviser to Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt asked Congress to set up FERA—which gave grants to the states for the same purpose—in May 1933, and appointed Hopkins to head it. Along with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) it was the first relief operation under the New Deal.

FERA's main goal was alleviating household unemployment by creating new unskilled jobs in local and state government. Jobs were more expensive than direct cash payments (called "the dole"), but were psychologically more beneficial to the unemployed, who wanted any sort of job for self-esteem to play the role of male breadwinner. From May 1933 until it closed in December, 1935, FERA gave states and localities $3.1 billion. FERA provided work for over 20 million people and developed facilities on public lands across the country.

Faced with continued high unemployment and concerns for public welfare during the coming winter of 1933-34, FERA instituted the Civil Works Administration (CWA) as a $400 million short-term measure to get people to work. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration was terminated in 1935 and its work taken over by two entirely new federal agencies, the Works Progress Administration and the Social Security Administration.

FERA operated a wide variety of work relief projects, including construction, projects for professionals (e.g., writers, artists, actors, and musicians), and production of consumer goods. The construction and professional projects elicited criticisms of "make-work," i.e., that little of value was produced. In contrast, the output of the consumer goods production projects was clearly useful, as canned food, garments, mattresses, bedding, and other goods were produced and then distributed to relief recipients. But these projects, termed production-for-use by FERA administrators, came under fire from capitalists for competing with the private sector. As a result, production-for-use projects that capitalists found offensive were terminated by the time the WPA began in late 1935, and no such government production of consumer goods has been repeated since.[1]

Workers' education

Workers' education, a form of adult education, emphasized the study of economic and social problems from the workers' perspective. When the FERA created its adult education program in 1933, workers' education classes were included. Between 1933 and 1943 thirty-six states participated in the federal experiment in workers' education, 17 of them for a full ten years the program existed. With as many as two thousand teachers employed at one time, officials conservatively estimated that the program reached at least one million workers nation-wide until it was ended in World War II. Three distinct phases of a federal workers' education program existed: FERA (1933–1935), Works Progress Administration (WPA—prior to separation from the other adult education programs, 1935–1939), and WPA Workers' Service Program (1939–1943). FERA and WPA workers' education stimulated educational activities within the labor movement. For example, in Indiana this program was particularly popular among the new, more radical CIO unions. Federal workers' education activities also encouraged union-university cooperation and laid the foundation for labor education at Indiana University. New Dealers designed the WPA Workers' Service Program as the model for a Federal Labor Extension Service, similar to the existing federal agricultural extension program, but it was never implemented.[2]


Ellen S. Woodward was director of women's work for FERA and CWA. During the short lifespan of the CWA, Woodward placed women in such civil works projects as sanitation surveys, highway and park beautification, public building renovation, public records surveys, and museum development. Most were unemployed white collar clerical workers. In July 1934, the FERA established a separate division for professional and nonconstruction projects. Project designers in the division for professional projects faced an enormous challenge in creating effective and meaningful work for unskilled women. In 1935 she became assistant administrator of the WPA, where she directed the income-earning projects of some 500,000 women.[3]


Poor people lacked enough food in the Depression, and farmers had too much. The mismatch was solved by the Federal Surplus Relief Corporation (FSRC), FERA, and WPA programs which aimed to reduce farm surpluses by government purchase and then redistribution of food to the needy. Three methods of distribution were employed with varying success: direct distribution, food stamps, and school lunches.[4]

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