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Dollars and Dreams

The National Youth Administration in Texas


Carol Weisenberger

Franklin D. Roosevelt created the National Youth Administration in 1935 to solve the problems faced by millions of youths in Depression-era America. This work examines the federal program to aid youths by focusing on a case study of one of the most successful state offices - the NYA in Texas - and is the first comprehensive history of any state NYA office. Headed in its initial years by Lyndon Baines Johnson, the Texas NYA developed and operated an organization that not only provided relief but also promoted social justice. This study also contends that LBJ and his successor, Jesse Kellam, were able to accomplish the goal of promoting reform because they diligently followed the guidelines of the national office, not because they were committed reformers.