200 Alabama Bicentennial

Celebrating Alabama’s 200th birthday2017 2018 2019

Resources

  • Map of FERA Projects and Activities in Alabama, 1934-1935.

    Illustrations on the map denote Federal Emergency Relief Administration projects.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • Turpentine worker’s family near Cordele, Alabama.

    The photographer's description reads, "Father's wages one dollar a day. This is the standard of living the turpentine trees support."

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • Letter from Mrs. David Smoot in Vida, Alabama, to Governor Benjamin Miller in Montgomery, Alabama.

    In the letter Mrs. Smoot explains that her fourteen-year-old daughter will soon lose her job because of recent legislation addressing child labor: "Monday President Roosevelt's new rule for textile mills becomes effective and while it is a wonderful move it will certainly make very uncomfortable for us unless it is possible for you to assist us." The Smoots rely on their daughter's income because a drought has destroyed their crops. The Cotton Textile Code, established as part of the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, set sixteen as the minimum age for employment in cotton textile mills.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • Telegram from the Elba Lions Club to Governor Benjamin Miller in Montgomery, Alabama.

    In the message the club members suggest that the governor issue a proclamation asking all businesses in the state to refrain from laying off and employees: "…instead if necessity demands it that wages be cut or number of working hours or days be reduced to the end that number of unemployed will not be increased during the winter months."

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • Letter from a delegation of the Unemployed Councils of Alabama, to Governor Benjamin Miller and the state legislature.

    In the letter the men describe the "widespread unemployment and great misery" affecting the citizens of the state, and they complain that the legislature is not discussing any programs to meet the needs of the poor ("All the so called economy measures are attempts to lower the living standards of the people"). The delegation then gives a list of demands for unemployment relief, which include weekly pay, free utilities, open schools, and elimination of the poll tax; they stress that there be "No discrimination against Negroes in all of these demands."

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • Franklin County relief order.

    After the New Deal programs began to be implemented in 1933, relief in the form of help to supply basic necessities began to flow down to the states from the federal government. Relief committees were set up on the county level to purchase and distribute food to the needy. Following the principle of offering "a hand up, not a hand out," government programs of relief concentrated on supplying essential foods to the truly destitute, as shown in this relief order from Franklin County.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • School at Skyline Farms, Alabama.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • Nurse Shamburg demonstrates care of baby bottles to Mrs. Paralee Coleman and Marie.

    The photographer's description reads, "Mothers have to work in field and children are left at home to care for babies. Health clinic, Gees Bend, Alabama."

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • Payroll warrant for five dollars, issued by the city treasurer of Montgomery, Alabama.

    The voucher states that "on or before February 1, 1937, the city of Montgomery, Alabama, will pay to bearer at the office of the city treasurer, in the city hall of Montgomery, five dollars in lawful currency of the United States of America with increase at six (6%) percent per annum from date until paid." Beginning May 1936, the Montgomery city government issued these vouchers in lieu of paying its employees in U.S. currency until it received sufficient revenues to redeem the vouchers and resume paying salaries in U.S. currency, on or before February 1, 1937.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • Scene of migrant camp on the outskirts of Birmingham, Alabama.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • Coal miners, Birmingham, Alabama.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • African American teacher and students in an adult literacy class sponsored by the WPA in Birmingham, Alabama.

    The age of the students ranges from 16 to 87. The woman to whom the teacher is speaking is 87-year-old Julia Wilson, who was taught to read and write through the WPA program.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • Letter from Jake Ward, a seventh grader at the the school in Malvern, Alabama.

    In the letter Jake explains that his school cannot afford to stay open; he asks the governor to "call the Legislature together and let us have enough money to run the school the full year."

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • Milk bar at a WPA health fair.

    The surrounding display promotes the consumption of "Sweet Milk... the Best and Most Healthful Food" ("Butter Milk is Good But Sweet Milk Has More Strength and Pep").

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • Letter from James Paulk, a student at the school in Malvern, Alabama, to Governor Benjamin Miller in Montgomery, Alabama.

    In the letter James explains that his school cannot afford to stay open, and he asks for the governor's assistance: "Wont [sic] you call the Legislature together and tell them how very important it is to us, to them, to the state of [sic] large and to the future generations that they provide money that our schools may not be forced to close? They give money to road building and to other departments. Do you and they consider roads more important than the education of those people who are soon to take your places as leaders of the state and nation? We have entrusted in you the power of leading and directing the affairs of the state. We are expecting you, Governor of our State, to see that we are protected from slavery of ignorance."

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • Sewing a quilt at Gees Bend, Alabama.

    The image shows Jennie Pettway and another girl with quilter Jorena Pettway.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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  • Letters between Rachel Wheeler in Selma, Alabama, and Governor Benjamin Miller.

    In the first letter, written March 23, 1934, Wheeler explains that she is an African American widow with three children; she asks the governor for financial assistance because she is unable to get work or relief money in Dallas County. In the second letter, written March 24, 1934, Governor Miller explains that the state does not make relief payments; he suggests that Wheeler contact organizations in her county.

    ALCOS Social Studies Content Standard Grade(s): 4, 6, 9, 11

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