San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.
Saturday, October 1, 2016
FDR’s Alphabet Soup
Records from the Great Depression
Cath Madden Trindle
Before delving into the genealogical
wonders of WPA records in a future issue, it is worth mentioning some of the
“other” Alphabet Soup agencies and boards set up during the Franklin Roosevelt
administration. Whether your ancestor was an employee of the agency or
one of those regulated by its mission you might find wonderful background
information and perhaps a lucky few will find actual information on an
ancestor. Many FDR agencies are still active today.
The Civil Aeronautics Board was created
to regulate the economic aspects of United States air carriers, to help
establish foreign air routes and services and to investigate civil air
accidents. It was preceded by the Aeronautics Branch (1926-1934) and the Bureau
of Air Commerce (1934-1938). It absorbed the Bureau of Air Mail,
Interstate Commerce Commission (1934-1938), the Civil Aeronautics Authority
(1938-1940) and the Air Safety Board (1938-1940). The Civil Aeronautic
Board’s authority was abolished effective 1 Jan 1985 with authority going to
the Federal Aviation Administration. Read more atHistory
of FAA and it’s predecessors
Commodity Credit Corporation was created to make loans to promotecarrying and marketing of agricultural
commodities. In 1948 the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act
(62 Stat. 1070) placed the federally chartered corporation under the Department
of Agriculture. Information on the records held by NARA can be found in Norman
D. Moore’s “Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Commodity Credit
Corporation,” NC 98 (Feb. 1965) ask your local NARA branch for a copy.
Labor Standards Act, enacted in 1938, was the last major piece of New Deal
legislation intended to reform the economy, and it is still with us today. This
law established the minimum wage, which at the time was twenty-five cents an
hour. It also set the standard for the 40-hour work week and banned the use of
child labor. Enforcement is by the Wage and Hour Division of the
Department of Labor.
§San Francisco has 76
cubic feet ofWHD Region 9(AK, AZ, CA, HI, ID, NV, OR, UT, WA) case dated from 1939
TheNational Labor Relations Board was created by the National Labor Relations /
Wagner Act of July 5, 1935. It replaced two earlier boards: the National Labor
Board (NLB), established August 5, 1933, and a first NLRB, established on June
19, 1934. When the National Industrial Recovery Administration (NIRA was
declared unconstitutional in May of 1935, the first NLRB ceased to
function. The second NLRB, was tasked with determining the unit of employees
appropriate for collective bargaining, conducting elections for employee
representatives, and to force employers to end specified unfair labor practices
in industries other than the railroads and airlines. Functions have
subsequently been modified by the War Labor Disputes Act of June 1943, the
Labor Management Relations / Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 and the Labor-Management
Reporting and Disclosure / Landrum-Griffin Act of 1959. All three boards
utilized a system of regional boards to deal with labor controversies in the field.
§San Francisco has
about 9 cu ft ofNLRBrecords from the 1930s including records from the longshoreman’s
§Riverside has 8 cu
feet of NLRB Los Angeles Regional Office records dated 1934-1935.
The National Resources Planning Board was
created by the ExecutiveOffice of the President, Reorganization Plan No. 1 of
1939, to advise the president on the development of national resources in
cooperation with state and regional planning boards. It replaced the
Federal Employment Stabilization Board (1931) and absorbed the functions of the
National Planning Board of the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works
(1933) and various successors. The NRPB planned public works, coordinated
Federal planning relating to conservation and efficient use of national
resources, and encouraged local, State, and regional planning. The NRPB was
abolished by an act of June 26, 1943.
offices primarily acted as clearinghouses of planning information, carried out
the Board’s activities in the field, and coordinated regional, State, and local
natural resource planning activities.
§NARA San Francisco
has 52 cu ft of records fromNRPB Region 8(Pacific Southwest – AZ, CA, HI, NE, UT). Records include
drainage basin committees and State planning boards. Records include
correspondence, clippings, issuances, printed materials, reports and maps.
§Finding Aid – Virgil
E. Baugh, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Regional Offices
of the National Planning Board, PI 64 (1954).
Originally Published in the CSGA Newsletter Jan-Feb 2014