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American Experience: Civilian Conservation Corps (2010)

Robert Stone  |  NR |  DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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American Experience: Civilian Conservation Corps + Nature's New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement
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Product Details

  • Directors: Robert Stone
  • Writers: Jonathan Alter
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: December 8, 2009
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,281 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In March 1933, within weeks of his inauguration, President Franklin Roosevelt sent legislation to Congress aimed at providing relief for the one out of every four American workers who were unemployed. He proposed a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to provide jobs in natural resource conservation. Over the next decade, the CCC put more than three million young men to work in the nation's forests and parks, planting trees, building flood barriers, fighting fires and maintaining roads and trails. Corps workers lived in camps under quasi-military discipline and received a wage of $30 per month, $25 of which they were required to send home to their families. This program interweaves rich archival imagery with the personal accounts of CCC veterans to tell the story of one of the boldest and most popular New Deal experiments, positioning it as a pivotal moment in the emergence of modern environmentalism and federal unemployment relief.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Way Of My Father November 17, 2009
By Max
I just watched this. On PBS. It's such a vivid representation of the times of my father who was born in this era. All his stories of "why" a dust bowl are here. And how our parks and trails were built, and our saving environmental actions came to Dad was in Ag. (a Dean of Ag Econ.) He told these depression stories- that also hit his poor farm family hard in East Tenn. They kept going somehow farming, selling hooked rugs to the north. This film represents surviving.
I loved the long unseen images, stories of those that were "just poor" in these times of soup kitchens, and our great depression, and what was "done about it." Learning of society through the words of ordinary people was brilliant to carry this film's story. It fits, you are narrated through the many voices, through how it felt to be there, how getting that work in the CCC offered hope and put desperate people into productive solutions. Dad always said something I heard here, it was as close to a possible revolution as he ever wanted to come to in our country. If you watch these times and how Roosevelt responded, the forces that opposed it, how the CCC came to be, it's there.
People were reduced so low, this shows you this and builds a compassionate response. That is there too and what might have been, and how it was going in countries across the oceans too, that is there. In the film someone says the seeds were there to bring the country into complete revolt....against this we see what FDR built, this film shows what can be. It seems so relevant now-and I propose it is what we need now.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unknown through about the greatness of FDR June 23, 2010
Verified Purchase
hello thank you so much for this dvd. I bought it for a wonderful man at the nursing home in his 90's who remembered when he was in one of these work camps when the country was going down in the past.

I played it for him yesterday and it was worth the price of admission. I saw it on channel 11 PBS program.

Thank you so much. This was an american experience that has been forgotten. It really shows the wisdom beyond his years (FDR).
Thank you again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I saw this program a few years ago and was inspired to find and watch it again since beginning a class about society and the environment in history. Again, I was deeply moved at this account of Americans working together to overcome adversity. The CCC was such a healing effort for both the people and the land here in America. Today's crises may be different but we are in no less need of healing.

Agriculturally, we face GMO tragedies, epic use of pesticides and an economic infrastructure that has disabled most farms from operating without subsidies. While not at 25% as in the 30's, unemployment is unacceptably high. To watch this program makes one ache for another such undertaking and turnaround here in the United States.

Additionally, it is amazing to look at the number of CCC camps that were in every state in the nation (42 here in Vermont, 108 in Michigan....) where otherwise unemployed, literally starving young men were working in fair conditions, making a fair wage and being well fed and cared for. If you go out and enjoy state parks, hiking trails and other natural wonders, know that most of it was created by this incredible effort.

I found this movie uplifting and very interesting to watch.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What saved our lives The CCC March 27, 2011
By Diane
Verified Purchase
My dad was panning for gold to try to feed us. With out the CCC I don't know what would have happened. Dad went.into the USFS right after the CCC. He spent the rest of his happy life there. I'm so thankful for FDR. I was horrified to find that my Grandson hear nothing about the CCC in High School. That is why I ordered this Program.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FDR and our first environmentalists~ February 17, 2012
Wept thru beginning of this amazing footage, staring into 1930s hardscrable, hungry fellow American eyes and faces as they queued up for soup kitchens or to jump a RR car -- looking for work. Also intently watching the numbers floating by of how many Conservation Corps camps in each state -- and US Territories -- I discovered my Dust Bowl home-state of Oklahoma hosted 52 alone.
But it never dawned on me before, these 2 to 3 million men (18- 25 years of age) - working for $30/month on 3 'square meals' per day -- were our countries "first environmentalists". The word itself -- "environment" -- didn't even exist until Franklin Delano Roosevelt stepped up to the plate as our enlightened president.
What a heritage he and his men left for future generations -- seeding and salvaging our nation's forests and topsoil & building and conserving places like Camp David and Carlsbad Cavern, along with multiple, memorable state parks and cabins.
Yet perhaps their most significant endowment manifests in a trans-generational 'ethic of conservation' that still abides -- if in need of some inspiration, such as embodied in this instructive documentary. The good news: we've already done it once before.
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Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful tribute to the men of the CCC and the work they performed. Three million men served in the CCC, and yet most people today have never even heard of it. We need a revival of this organization and the work they performed. With so many today
accepting welfare and thinking that it is beneath their dignity to work (yet not to accept handouts!) I guess it would not work And yet
there is plenty of work that needs to be done. Our parks are understaffed and falling apart. The CCC built and maintained them.
And, when World War II came, there was a body of 3,000,000 physically fit men, used to military training and discipline (the camps
were run by military officers) ready for service. Today, only one in four of our youth could pass a military physical.. All this is showcases in this wonderful tribute to the CCC. Highly recommended!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and informational
We get a well organized documentary of the CCC and what it was like to be there. The story of three million men put to work by President Franklin D. Read more
Published 1 month ago by bernie
4.0 out of 5 stars A gift for family member and also subject of college term paper for me
This was a gift for someone but apparently the recipient is happy with the purchase. When reading about this particular film, it makes me wonder why in this modern day economic... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Edie
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific for students and classroom
As a History instructor at a community college, this documentary has been a huge hit for the past 4 semesters. Read more
Published 3 months ago by NES
5.0 out of 5 stars What a GREAT DVD!!!!!
It told the story with many personal accounts of people who were in it. It was one of the best and well rounded accounts of the Civilian Conservation Corps you could possibly get. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Liz
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
My 93 year old father enjoyed this video very much, he was a big part of this movement. He also said "they got thier facts straight"
Published 9 months ago by T Hatton
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
My grandfather was in a CCC camp in North Carolina. It was great to finally understand the scope of what the CCC's contributed. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Paige Braddock
5.0 out of 5 stars CCC- One of the best historical DVD's I have found.
After watching this movie several times on DVD's from netflix, I bought it! If you have never seen this movie and are interested in the human spirit- how Americans survive, and... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Cyndee Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Great history lessons!
We ordered this for our sons in whom we are wanting to instill a love of working with their hands. It is a wonderful look at the lives of several men who joined the CCC during the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Becky Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic DVD on the "CCC"!!
My children were home on a break from college and we watched this together on the History Channel. The show is full of personal notes from actual members of the CCC and the... Read more
Published on August 8, 2012 by Textile Queen
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