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Robert Fechner

Robert Fechner

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Robert Fechner was a national labor union leader and director of the Civilian Conservation Corps
Civilian Conservation Corps
The Civilian Conservation Corps was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25. A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D...

 (1933–39), which played a central role in the development of state and national parks in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

. With only an public school elementary education he had risen to become an American labor union leader and vice president of the International Association of Machinists. He had a reputation for fairness, tact, and patience in all his dealings. On 5 April 1933 he was appointed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to be the Director of the Civilian Conservation Corps
Civilian Conservation Corps
The Civilian Conservation Corps was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25. A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D...

 (CCC). It was Fechner's fairness and ability for organization and administration that impressed the president to his appointment as director. Although he had been an important labor figure, Fechner objected attempts for union organizers to form unions among CCC enrollees in the camps. He felt that the government was doing all it possibly could for the well-being of the enrollees: well fed, supporting dependents with monthly earnings, getting an education; and they were contributing in a constructive manner to the conservation needs of the nation. The need for a union in this situation was not necessary, and he issued orders to keep union organizers out of the CCC camps and gave instructions that if any of the CCC enrolees joined a union they were to be discharged. Upon Fechner's death while still serving as CCC Director he was succeeded by James McEntee
James McEntee
James P. McEntee Academy is a 3rd - 5th grade elementary school in Alum Rock Union School District in San Jose, California. It was founded in 2007 with a focus on science and technology. It features a full Science Lab, wireless internet, and four desktop computers per classroom and two laptop...

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Fechner's likeness appeared on the cover of Time magazine on February 6, 1939. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

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