Trusted local news leader for Williams AZ and the Grand Canyon
Wed, June 23

Events to mark 75th anniversary of CCC

Starting Monday, Grand Canyon National Park kicks off a series of events marking the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Last week, Gov. Janet Napolitano declared March 31, 2008, as Civilian Conservation Corps Recognition Day. In support, the park will offer special programs throughout the day.


At 1 and 3:30 p.m., CCC history walks will meet at Kolb Studio. At 7:30 p.m., the evening program, at the Shrine of the Ages, will be "Saving the Park and Saving the Boys, the CCC at Grand Canyon, 1933-1942." A CCC afternoon program will also be presented at Phantom Ranch on Monday.

May symposium

Events will continue through the spring and summer. The centerpiece of the celebration will be a history symposium, "Saving Lives; Shaping the Land; Building Parks: the CCC in the Southwest, 1933-1942," from Friday, May 30-Sunday, June 1.

Registration for the full three days is $50. All of the indoor sessions will be held at the Shrine of the Ages auditorium.

The symposium begins with guided hikes and tours led by rangers and historians on Friday, May 30. On Saturday, May 31, 15 historians and scholars and a panel of men who served in the CCC will offer presentations. There will be more guided hikes and walks on Sunday, June 1.

Register online at

During the summer, visitors to the canyon will partake in a special series of exhibits retracing the CCC's work at Grand Canyon and in the southwest.

Commemorating the arrival of the CCC boys at the Canyon on May 29, 1933, the Grand Canyon Association and the park will open a Kolb Studio exhibit titled "It Saved My Life, the CCC at Grand Canyon, 1933-1942." The free exhibit opens with a reception on May 30 and runs through Oct. 31.

Kolb exhibit

Exhibit goers will learn about the despair of the Great Depression, the fear of a possible "lost generation" of young men and the feeling of hope that the CCC brought to poor unemployed young men and their families. Historic photographs and artifacts, never before viewed by the public, will be on display. Attendees will learn about the many things the CCC accomplished at Grand Canyon and the positive changes it brought to CCC boys and their families.

NPS historian John Paige stated that the CCC advanced park development by 10-20 years during the program's first two to three years. Some have called the 1930s the "golden years" of the National Park Service in large part due to the almost unlimited labor pool provided by the CCC.

Grand Canyon National Park had as many as four 200-man companies working simultaneously.

The most significant CCC accomplishments at Grand Canyon include trail building, the South Rim Community Building, the beautiful stone wall in the Village, the trans-canyon telephone line and trail shelters.

In1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed legislation creating the Civilian Conservation Corps. It quickly became the most popular government program of the Great Depression.

The first CCC boys arrived at the Grand Canyon on May 29, 1933. During their time at the park, they were responsible for building miles of trails and creating much of the park infrastructure that is still used by visitors today.

For questions about the symposium and the events, contact Ranger Bob Audretsch at or 638-7834.

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