may 1, 1933 - Federal Emergency Relief Administration
The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) was the new name given by the Roosevelt Administration to the Emergency Relief Administration (ERA) which President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had created in 1933. FERA was established as a result of the Federal Emergency Relief Act and was replaced in 1935 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
Prior to 1933, the federal government gave loans to the states to operate relief programs. One of these, the New York state program TERA (Temporary Emergency Relief Administration), was set up in 1931 and headed by Harry Hopkins, a close adviser to Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt asked Congress to set up FERA—which gave grants to the states for the same purpose—in May 1933, and appointed Hopkins to head it. Along with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) it was the first relief operation under the New Deal.
FERA's main goal was to alleviate household unemployment by creating new unskilled jobs in local and state government. Jobs were more expensive than direct cash payments (called "the dole"), but were psychologically more beneficial to the unemployed, who wanted any sort of job, for self-esteem, to play the role of male breadwinner. From May 1933 until it closed in December 1935, FERA gave states and localities $3.1 billion (the equivalent of $55.4 billion in 2017). FERA provided work for over 20 million people and developed facilities on public lands across the country.
Faced with continued high unemployment and concerns for public welfare during the coming winter of 1933–34, FERA instituted the Civil Works Administration (CWA) as a $400 million short-term measure to get people to work.
The Federal Emergency Relief Administration was shut down in 1935 and its work was taken over by two completely new federal agencies, the Works Progress Administration and the Social Security Administration
Added to timeline:
History of Leadership In The States