November 23, 2015
Oklahoma Civilian Conservation Corps Film Restored
Oklahoma City, Okla. — The Oklahoma Historical Society announces the release of a recently restored, rare 16mm film of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Healdton, Okla., shot during the 1930s. The film had decayed to such a state that it could not be projected because of curling and brittleness. Through a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation, the Oklahoma Historical Society was able to send the film to Colorlab in Rockville, Md., for the tedious restoration.
The Civilian Conservation Corps, known as the CCC, was created by Congress on March 31, 1933, as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs to help relieve economic and humanitarian distress. Young men who were unmarried, U.S. citizens, and between the ages of 18 and 25 were eligible for the program. Of their monthly $30 salary, $25 was sent home to assist their families during the Great Depression.
In 1934 Oklahoma had 5,000 young men working in 26 camps across the state. The Heavener, Okla., Company 810 CCC group started operations May 24, 1933, in LeFlore County in east-central Oklahoma. This CCC group was physically headquartered in Stapp, Okla., at Camp Prater. They built roads, installed telephone lines, and built Cedar Lake.
This is the first and only film known of the CCC in Oklahoma. Within the movie are scenes of life at the camp. Individual sections include: Mess Hall, Forest Service Office, Kitchen and Men Working with their Tools and Trucks. It is a silent film, but has scene titles within the program to identify the action. The film can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIwHlJd8y7I&list=PL9E9954AB66CF91BE&index=53 on the Oklahoma Historical Society Film and Video Collection YouTube Channel.
The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains 31 museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.