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Howard Lake Library presents a look at CCC through story and song
Oct. 5, 2015

Ivan raconteur
Editor

HOWARD LAKE, MN – Area residents will have an opportunity to learn about the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during a special presentation Sunday, Oct. 11 from 1 to 2 p.m. in the community room at the Howard Lake Library.

“Dollar-A-Day Boys” is a musical tribute to the CCC.

The event, made possible through Legacy funds, is sponsored by the Great River Regional Library and the Friends of the Howard Lake Library. It is open to all ages.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a Depression-era public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the US for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families as part of the New Deal. Originally for young men ages 18–23, it was eventually expanded to young men ages 17–28.

In addition to providing employment for young men, the CCC completed a variety of projects aimed at conserving and developing natural resources.

They planted trees, built roads, and learned skills that would help them find jobs.

More than 2.5 million men enlisted in the CCC, earning a dollar a day, which helped them survive the Depression.

The program will be presented by Escanaba, MI-based historian, storyteller, and songwriter Bill Jamerson.

For more than a decade, Jamerson has been sharing stories about America’s past via his “History through Song” program, according to his website.

He developed a love of history at an early age, inspired by his grandfather’s stories about life in lumberjack camps, and living through the Great Depression.

Jamerson has produced a number of films on history for Michigan Public Television.

In 2002, Jamerson began presenting live programs about the CCC, lumberjack, and iron mining history in schools, libraries, and other venues. His programs include original songs played with his guitar. Most of the songs are based on stories collected from people with first-hand knowledge.

The programs often include short video clips from his PBS films.

In 2007, Jamerson published a historical novel on the CCC.

He has visited dozens of CCC-built state parks, and often refers to them in his talks depending on the state he is in. Jamerson often provides information at his talks to assist people in their research efforts.

According to his website, the greatest source of new stories in his programs comes from the people who attend his performances and share stories about their families. They often bring photos and memorabilia and give him copies, which he displays with his traveling exhibits. Audience members are called upon to tell stories from their families, so there are always pleasant surprises in his shows.

Jamerson’s presentation has been described as a cross between Woody Guthrie and Garrison Keillor. He continues the oral tradition of sharing cultural and ethnic traditions with humor, storytelling, and song.

To learn more about Bill Jamerson, CLICK HERE.

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