From Ohio History Central
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933
On April 8, 1935, the United States Congress passed the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act. The Emergency Relief Appropriation Act was part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. Roosevelt hoped that his New Deal would allow Americans to cope with the Great Depression, would help end the current economic downturn, and would help prevent another depression from occurring in the future.
Initially, the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act earmarked 4.8 billion dollars for the creation of government assistance programs. The United States Congress provided additional funds throughout the 1930s. Previous to the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, most New Deal programs provided relief payments to qualified applicants. With the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, the federal government continued to provide assistance to needy Americans, but now these people increasingly had to work on public projects. The Emergency Relief Appropriation Act provided President Roosevelt with funding for several new government employment programs, including the Works Progress Administration and the National Youth Administration. These various programs provided employment to thousands of Ohioans during the Great Depression. Beginning in 1939, the Congress reduced funding for these projects, and by the early 1940s, most of these programs ceased to exist. This was primarily because of declining unemployment due to the creation of thousands of jobs associated with World War II.