Saturday, June 16, 2007

FDR's First 100 Days

June 16, 1933, marked the end of the first hundred days of the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). Those one hundred days were a period of frenetic activity.

Following his inauguration on March 4, Roosevelt immediately sought to stem the financial panic that had begun with the stock market crash of 1929 and to restore public confidence. He started by closing the nation's banks on March 6. On June 16, 1933, FDR signed the Banking Act, which separated commercial banking from investment banking and established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. He also signed the Farm Credit Act, the Emergency Railroad Transportation Act, and the National Industrial Recovery Act (which created the Public Works Administration).

The investment of federal monies in a series of public works programs, which provided desperately needed jobs, formed an integral part of Roosevelt's domestic agenda, the New Deal. Under Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, the Public Works Administration initiated and oversaw about 34,000 public works projects. Millions of unemployed Americans went to work in the 1930s in programs such as the Work Projects Administration (originally named the Works Progress Administration), the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

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