The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota

Barbara W. Sommer
Saturday, November 19, 2022 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Washburn Library, 5244 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

The Great Depression New Deal-era program, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), has been recognized as the largest conservation program in U.S. history. Its Minnesota story is a fascinating one, involving young men from the state and from nearby states, young Black Minnesota citizens, and enrolled men from Minnesota’s Indian Reservations.

Drawing on more than 100 Oral histories, combined with research at the Minnesota Historical Society and the National Archives, in this presentation, she will review the impact of the CCC on the people who were part of it, the work they did in Minnesota’s state and national forests, its state parks, and on soil conservation in various locations, and its ongoing impact on the state today.

She will illustrate the presentation with photographs, many taken by CCC enrollees themselves. Additional information about the history of the CCC in Minnesota may be found in her award-winning book, Hard Work and a Good Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota, available from the Minnesota Historical Society, bookstores in Minnesota, and through on-line sources. 

Barb Sommer has over thirty-five years of experience as an oral historian. She has directed major oral community history projects and has taught oral history. She is the author and co-author of several key publications in the field and of the award-winning book Hard Work and a Good Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota (2008). She holds degrees from Carleton College and the University of Minnesota.