The Great Depression – Progress and Pushback | 5

The Great Depression – Progress and Pushback | 5

After two of President Roosevelt’s closest advisors competed to create a new federal jobs program, the White House launched one of Roosevelt’s keystone initiatives: the Works Progress Administration. Under this program, millions of Americans earned government salaries at a wide range of blue- and white-collar jobs — everything from building post offices and painting murals to delivering library books by horseback to rural communities.

However, the federal government’s increased reach worried FDR’s opponents, especially a wildly popular Catholic radio preacher. Father Charles Coughlin once helped FDR get elected, but as the president’s power increased, Coughlin turned up the volume on hateful and anti-Semitic undertones in his attacks.

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