The Work Projects Administration (WPA, later known as the Works Progress Administration) was established as a national agency on May 6, 1935. It was established as a relief measure during the Great Depression and lasted until it was phased out in 1943, as employment increased and reduced relief rolls. The WPA functioned in Texas until after unemployment had begun to fall off sharply in 1942.
The greatest single area of WPA public spending in Texas was construction. As in most of the other WPA projects in Texas, one-fourth of the construction costs had to be provided by sponsors. Construction projects included parks, swimming pools, highways, bridges, stadiums, and other public buildings. Recreational facilities were increased, but recreational leadership and organizational help were also boosted under the WPA. An attempt was made to provide leisure-time activities for persons of all ages, races, and economic groups during all seasons of the year. The WPA in Texas built and organized pre-school play centers, playgrounds, community recreation centers, toy loan centers, athletic leagues, boys’ clubs and girls’ clubs, and centers for all branches of armed forces personnel during the period of World War II. All recreational programs were begun with the idea of establishing permanent facilities.
Source: Work Projects Administration (WPA)
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