The Civil Works Administration was created in late 1933, under the encouragement of Harry Hopkins, to help Americans through a difficult winter. Despite Roosevelt's late approval for the plan, Hopkins promised to have four million people working before Christmas. By mid-January he had exceeded his estimate by 300,000. The Civil Works Administration built or improved 500,000 miles of road, 40,000 schools, and 1,000 airports; improved streets; unclogged sewers; and cleaned out parks. In 1935 the scheme was expanded into the Works Progress Administration, thanks to the unanimous approval of the New Deal by voters in the midterm Congressional elections. Over the eight years that the agency ran, over nine million people were put to work, including writers and artists such as John Steinbeck, in work mostly for public display. The persistence of Depression conditions through 1934 prompted opposition to FDR
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