WPA Approved by Congress
President Franklin Roosevelt proposed the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression of the 1930s when almost 25 percent of Americans were unemployed. Approved by Congress on April 8, 1935, the WPA created low-paying federal jobs to provide immediate relief. The WPA put 8.5 million jobless to work on projects as diverse as constructing highways, bridges and public buildings to arts programs like the Federal Writers’ Project. This photograph, taken in El Cerrito, San Miguel County, New Mexico, shows WPA laborers at work on a road project.
Photo: National Archives