by Delbert Trew
Model T and CCC
birthdays of two notable American institutions will take place in
One, a large "T Party," is planned in Indiana
as Model T collectors and antique car enthusiasts from around the
world gather to celebratedthe 100th birthday of the famous Ford vehicle.
Described as "uncompromisingly erect, unquestionably ugly and funereally
drab" the period from October 1908 to May 1927 produced 15 million
Ford vehicles. During many of these years Ford produced more vehicles
than all the other auto manufacturers combined.
Amazingly, the original Model T design was never basically changed.
For example, you could choose any color you liked as long as it was
black. However, due to the genius of Henry Ford, the add-ons changed
constantly creating a paradox of change in the changeless Model T
Advertised by Ford as "The Universal Car," the company offered many
add-ons to the regular family car model. These provided a vehicle
to haul things, plow fields, saw firewood, fill silos, grind livestock
feed or churn butter. To the rural customer, who was going through
the trauma of changing from equine horsepower to gasoline horsepower,
this Ford versatility seemed a good answer.
To other customers, Ford provided a complete detailed repair manual,
a set of good tools and a source of parts provided by a large number
of Ford dealers. Repairs were simple and easy with a Model T Ford
car. No wonder Henry sold so many vehicles. Happy birthday to the
Civilian Conservation Corps is celebrating its 75th birthday in 2008.
It was born of necessity in March 1933 when President Franklin Roosevelt
authored several initiatives to assist America in recovering from
the Dust Bowl and The Great
Faced with thousands of young, unemployed men in the cities, many
turning to crime to survive, the CCC built camps in all 48 states
and U.S. territories. More than 300,000 men were enrolled at the peak
of the program. Before the program ended, more than 3 million toiled
and learned in the program.
The CCC also provided help to the young men's families. The men were
paid $30 per month but $25 of that was sent directly to their families
at home. While in camp, the young men learned trades, took educational
courses, were taught discipline and self-confidence, and traveled
as most had never been out of the county where they were born.
Probably the greatest benefit of the program was the gathering of
personal information on names, addresses and talents of the CCC and
the WPA. This bank of data contributed to the quick mobilization of
men already trained with militarylike discipline and character to
meet the crisis of WWII.
They stopped the enemy in its tracks until the war machine could be
Sixteen Texas Historical Markers recognize CCC work as workers lived
in 176 camps scattered across the state. Millions of acres of farm
land benefitted as millions of trees were planted by Roosevelt's "tree
Duro Canyon State Park and nearly every other state and national
park were enhanced by CCC work.
Let's all take time this year to salute these two American icons on
© Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew" April 10, 2008 Column
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