National Recovery Administration

The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was a prime New Deal agency established by U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) in 1933. The goal was to eliminate "cut-throat competition" by bringing industry, labor, and government together to create codes of "fair practices" and set prices. The NRA was created by the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) and allowed industries to get together and write "codes of fair competition." The codes were intended to reduce "destructive competition" and to help workers by setting minimum wages and maximum weekly hours, as well as minimum prices at which products could be sold. The NRA also had a two-year renewal charter and was set to expire in June 1935 if not renewed.[1]

The NRA, symbolized by the Blue Eagle, was popular with workers. Businesses that supported the NRA put the symbol in their shop windows and on their packages, though they did not always go along with the regulations entailed. Though membership to the NRA was voluntary, businesses that did not display the eagle were very often boycotted, making it seem mandatory for survival to many.

In 1935, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declared that the NRA law was unconstitutional, ruling that it infringed the separation of powers under the United States Constitution. The NRA quickly stopped operations, but many of its labor provisions reappeared in the National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act), passed later the same year. The long-term result was a surge in the growth and power of unions, which became a core of the New Deal Coalition that dominated national politics for the next three decades.

Recovery Administration
NRA Blue Eagle poster. This would be displayed in store windows, on packages, and in ads.
Agency overview
Formed1933, by the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA)
DissolvedMay 27, 1935, by court case Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States


As part of the "First New Deal," the NRA was based on the premise that the Great Depression was caused by market instability and that government intervention was necessary to balance the interests of farmers, business and labor. The NIRA, which created the NRA, declared that codes of fair competition should be developed through public hearings, and gave the Administration the power to develop voluntary agreements with industries regarding work hours, pay rates, and price fixing.[2] The NRA was put into operation by an executive order, signed the same day as the passage of the NIRA.

New Dealers who were part of the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt saw the close analogy with the earlier crisis handling the economics of World War I. They brought ideas and experience from the government controls and spending of 1917–18.

In his June 13, 1933 "Statement on the National Industrial Recovery Act," President Roosevelt described the spirit of the NRA: "On this idea, the first part of the NIRA proposes to our industry a great spontaneous cooperation to put millions of men back in their regular jobs this summer."[3][4] He further stated, "But if all employers in each trade now band themselves faithfully in these modern guilds—without exception—and agree to act together and at once, none will be hurt and millions of workers, so long deprived of the right to earn their bread in the sweat of their labor, can raise their heads again. The challenge of this law is whether we can sink selfish interest and present a solid front against a common peril."[3][4]


1933 Time Man of the Year cover
Director Hugh S. Johnson on the cover of Time Magazine in 1933.
NRA film 1934
The film industry supported the NRA

The first director of the NRA was Hugh S. Johnson, a retired United States Army general and a successful businessman. He was named Time magazine's "Man of the Year" in 1933. Johnson saw the NRA as a national crusade designed to restore employment and regenerate industry.

Johnson called on every business establishment in the nation to accept a stopgap "blanket code": a minimum wage of between 20 and 45 cents per hour, a maximum workweek of 35 to 45 hours, and the abolition of child labor. Johnson and Roosevelt contended that the "blanket code" would raise consumer purchasing power and increase employment.

Historian Clarence B. Carson noted:

At this moment in time from the early days of the New Deal, it is difficult to recapture, even in imagination, the heady enthusiasm among a goodly number of intellectuals for a government planned economy. So far as can now be told, they believed that a bright new day was dawning, that national planning would result in an organically integrated economy in which everyone would joyfully work for the common good, and that American society would be freed at last from those antagonisms arising, as General Hugh Johnson put it, from "the murderous doctrine of savage and wolfish individualism, looking to dog-eat-dog and devil take the hindmost.[5]


The negotiations of a code for the bituminous coal industry came against the background of a rapidly swelling union, the United Mine Workers headed by John L. Lewis and an unstable truce in the Pennsylvania coal fields. The NRA tried to get the principals to compromise with a national code for a decentralized industry in which many companies were anti-union, sought to keep wage differentials, and tried to escape the collective bargaining provisions of section 7A. Agreement among the parties was finally reached only after the NRA threatened that it would impose a code. The code did not establish price stabilization, nor did it resolve questions of industrial self-government versus governmental supervision or of centralization versus local autonomy, but it made dramatic changes in abolishing child labor, eliminating the compulsory scrip wages and company store, and establishing fair trade practices. It paved the way for an important wage settlement.[6]

Price controls

In early 1935 the new chairman, Samuel Williams, announced that the NRA would stop setting prices, but businessmen complained. Chairman Williams told them plainly that, unless they could prove it would damage business, NRA was going to put an end to price control. Williams said, "Greater productivity and employment would result if greater price flexibility were attained."[7] Of the 2,000 businessmen on hand probably 90% opposed Mr. Williams' aim, reported Time magazine: "To them a guaranteed price for their products looks like a royal road to profits. A fixed price above cost has proved a lifesaver to more than one inefficient producer."[7] However, it was also argued NRA's price control method promoted monopolies.[8]

The business position was summarized by George A. Sloan, head of the Cotton Textile Code Authority:

Maximum hours and minimum wage provisions, useful and necessary as they are in themselves, do not prevent price demoralization. While putting the units of an industry on a fair competitive level insofar as labor costs are concerned, they do not prevent destructive price cutting in the sale of commodities produced, any more than a fixed price of material or other element of cost would prevent it. Destructive competition at the expense of employees is lessened, but it is left in full swing against the employer himself and the economic soundness of his enterprise....But if the partnership of industry with Government which was invoked by the President were terminated (as we believe it will not be), then the spirit of cooperation, which is one of the best fruits of the NRA equipment, could not survive.[7]

The Blue Eagle

Blue Eagle with NRA code

The Blue Eagle was a symbol used in the United States by companies to show compliance with the National Industrial Recovery Act. To mobilize political support for the NRA, Johnson launched the "NRA Blue Eagle" publicity campaign to boost his bargaining strength to negotiate the codes with business and labor.[9][10][11]

Many sources credit advertising art director Charles T. Coiner with the design.[12][13][14][15] According to a few sources, however, it was sketched by Johnson, based on an idea used by the War Industries Board during World War I.[16][11] The eagle holds a gear, symbolizing industry, in its right talon, and bolts of lightning in its left talon, symbolizing power.[17]

All companies that accepted President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Re-employment Agreement or a special Code of Fair Competition were permitted to display a poster showing the Blue Eagle together with the announcement, "NRA Member. We Do Our Part."[16][10][11] Consumers were exhorted to buy products and services only from companies displaying the Blue Eagle banner.[16][11] According to Johnson,

When every American housewife understands that the Blue Eagle on everything that she permits into her home is a symbol of its restoration to security, may God have mercy on the man or group of men who attempt to trifle with this bird.[18]


Most businesses adopted the NRA without complaint, but Henry Ford was reluctant to join.[19]

The National Recovery Review Board, headed by noted criminal lawyer Clarence Darrow, a prominent liberal, was set up by President Roosevelt in March 1934 and abolished by him that same June. The board issued three reports highly critical of the NRA from the perspective of small business, charging the NRA with fostering cartels. The Darrow board, influenced by Justice Louis D. Brandeis, wanted instead to promote competitive capitalism.[20]

Representing big business, the American Liberty League, 1934–40, was run by leading industrialists who opposed the liberalism of the New Deal. Regarding the controversial NRA, the League was ambivalent. Jouett Shouse, the League president, commented that "the NRA has indulged in unwarranted excesses of attempted regulation"; on the other, he added that "in many regards [the NRA] has served a useful purpose."[21] Shouse said that he had "deep sympathy" with the goals of the NRA, explaining, "While I feel very strongly that the prohibition of child labor, the maintenance of a minimum wage and the limitation of the hours of work belong under our form of government in the realm of the affairs of the different states, yet I am entirely willing to agree that in the case of an overwhelming national emergency the Federal Government for a limited period should be permitted to assume jurisdiction of them."[22]

British journalist Alistair Cooke described Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidency of the United States of America in the two years from his inauguration to the Supreme Court's declaration that the National Recovery Administration was unconstitutional, as a benevolent dictatorship.[23]

The NRA in practice

US Manufacturing Employment Graph - 1920 to 1940
Chart 3: Manufacturing employment in the United States from 1920 to 1940

The NRA negotiated specific sets of codes with leaders of the nation's major industries; the most important provisions were anti-deflationary floors below which no company would lower prices or wages, and agreements on maintaining employment and production. In a remarkably short time, the NRA won agreements from almost every major industry in the nation. According to some conservative economists, the NRA increased the cost of doing business by forty percent.[24] Donald Richberg, who soon replaced Johnson as the head of the NRA said:

There is no choice presented to American business between intelligently planned and uncontrolled industrial operations and a return to the gold-plated anarchy that masqueraded as "rugged individualism."...Unless industry is sufficiently socialized by its private owners and managers so that great essential industries are operated under public obligation appropriate to the public interest in them, the advance of political control over private industry is inevitable.[25]

By the time it ended in May 1935, industrial production was 22% higher than in May 1933.

Specific industries

Pennock (1997) shows that the rubber tire industry faced debilitating challenges, mostly brought about by changes in the industry's retail structure and exacerbated by the Depression. Segments of the industry attempted to use the NRA codes to solve these new problems and stabilize the tire market, but the tire manufacturing and tire retailing codes were patent failures. Instead of leading to cartelization and higher prices, which is what most scholars assume the NRA codes did, the tire industry codes led to even more fragmentation and price cutting.[26]

Alexander (1997) examines the macaroni industry and concludes that cost heterogeneity was a major source of the "compliance crisis" affecting a number of NRA "codes of fair competition" that were negotiated by industries and submitted for government approval under the National Industry Recovery Act of 1933. The argument boils down to assumptions that progressives at the NRA allowed majority coalitions of small, high-cost firms to impose codes in heterogeneous industries, and that these codes were designed by the high-cost firms under an ultimately erroneous belief that they would be enforced by the NRA.[27]

Storrs (2000) says the National Consumers' League (NCL) had been instrumental in the passage and legal defense of labor legislation in many states since 1899. Women activists used the New Deal opportunity to gain a national forum. General Secretary Lucy Randolph Mason and her league relentlessly lobbied the NRA to make its regulatory codes just and fair for all workers and to eliminate explicit and de facto discrimination in pay, working conditions, and opportunities for reasons of sex, race, or union status. Even after the demise of the NRA, the league continued campaigning for collective bargaining rights and fair labor standards at both federal and state levels.[28]


New Deal N.R.A. 3c 1933 issue U.S. stamp
Commemorative stamp issued by the U.S. Post Office on August 15, 1933

About 23 million people were employed under the NRA codes. However, violations of codes became common and attempts were made to use the courts to enforce the NRA. The NRA included a multitude of regulations imposing the pricing and production standards for all sorts of goods and services. Individuals were arrested for not complying with these codes. For example, one small businessman was fined for violating the "Tailor's Code" by pressing a suit for 35 rather than NRA required 40 cents. Roosevelt critic John T. Flynn, in The Roosevelt Myth (1944), wrote:

The NRA was discovering it could not enforce its rules. Black markets grew up. Only the most violent police methods could procure enforcement. In Sidney Hillman's garment industry the code authority employed enforcement police. They roamed through the garment district like storm troopers. They could enter a man's factory, send him out, line up his employees, subject them to minute interrogation, take over his books on the instant. Night work was forbidden. Flying squadrons of these private coat-and-suit police went through the district at night, battering down doors with axes looking for men who were committing the crime of sewing together a pair of pants at night. But without these harsh methods many code authorities said there could be no compliance because the public was not back of it.

The NRA was famous for its bureaucracy. Journalist Raymond Clapper reported that between 4,000 and 5,000 business practices were prohibited by NRA orders that carried the force of law, which were contained in some 3,000 administrative orders running to over 10 million pages, and supplemented by what Clapper said were "innumerable opinions and directions from national, regional and code boards interpreting and enforcing provisions of the act." There were also "the rules of the code authorities, themselves, each having the force of law and affecting the lives and conduct of millions of persons." Clapper concluded: "It requires no imagination to appreciate the difficulty the business man has in keeping informed of these codes, supplemental codes, code amendments, executive orders, administrative orders, office orders, interpretations, rules, regulations and obiter dicta."[29]

Judicial review

On 27 May 1935, in the court case of Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, the Supreme Court held the mandatory codes section of NIRA unconstitutional,[30] because it attempted to regulate commerce that was not interstate in character, and that the codes represented an unacceptable delegation of power from the legislature to the executive. Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes wrote for a unanimous Court in invalidating the industrial "codes of fair competition" which the NIRA enabled the President to issue. The Court held that the codes violated the United States Constitution's separation of powers as an impermissible delegation of legislative power to the executive branch. The Court also held that the NIRA provisions were in excess of congressional power under the Commerce Clause.[31]

The Court distinguished between direct effects on interstate commerce, which Congress could lawfully regulate, and indirect, which were purely matters of state law. Though the raising and sale of poultry was an interstate industry, the Court found that the "stream of interstate commerce" had stopped in this case: Schechter's slaughterhouses bought chickens only from intrastate wholesalers and sold to intrastate buyers. Any interstate effect of Schechter was indirect, and therefore beyond federal reach.[32]

Specifically, the Court invalidated regulations of the poultry industry promulgated under the authority of the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, including price and wage fixing, as well as requirements regarding a whole shipment of chickens, including unhealthy ones, which has led to the case becoming known as "the sick chicken case." The ruling was one of a series which overturned some New Deal legislation between January 1935 and January 1936, and which ultimately caused Roosevelt to attempt to pack the Court with judges that were in favor of the New Deal.

Subsequent to the decision, the remainder of Title I was extended until April 1, 1936, by joint resolution of Congress (49 Stat. 375), June 14, 1935, and NRA was reorganized by E.O. 7075, June 15, 1935, to facilitate its new role as a promoter of industrial cooperation and to enable it to produce a series of economic studies,[30] which the National Recovery Review Board was already doing.[33] Many of the labor provisions reappeared in the Wagner Act of 1935.


In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1933, DeBenneville "Bert" Bell formed a new National Football League franchise to replace the defunct Frankford Yellow Jackets, naming this team the Eagles in recognition of the NRA (a name the team retains to the present).[34][35]

In 1934, at the request of the Interior Secretary Ickes, who wished to use the statute criminalizing making false statements to enforce Section 9(c) of the NIRA against producers of "hot oil", oil produced in violation of production restrictions established pursuant to the NIRA, Congress passed Pub.L. 73–394, 48 Stat. 996, enacted June 18, 1934, which amended the False Claims Act of 1863 to read:[36]

… or whoever, for the purpose of obtaining or aiding to obtain the payment or approval of such claim, or for the purpose and with the intent of cheating and swindling or defrauding the Government of the United States, or any department thereof, or any corporation in which the United States of America is a stockholder, shall knowingly and willfully falsify or conceal or cover up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact, or make or cause to be made any false or fraudulent statements or representations, or make or use or cause to be made or used any false bill, receipt, voucher, account, roll, claim, certificate, affidavit, or deposition, knowing the same to contain any fraudulent or fictitious statement or entry, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States or of any corporation in which the United States of America is a stockholder …

This form of the statute, in slightly modified form, still exists today at 18 U.S.C. § 1001.

See also


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-14. Retrieved 2011-07-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ National Recovery Administration. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-07
  3. ^ a b Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum – Our Documents
  4. ^ a b Franklin D. Roosevelt Statement on N.I.R.A.
  5. ^ Carson, Clarence B. The Relics of Intervention part 4. New Deal Collective Planning
  6. ^ James P. Johnson, "Drafting the NRA Code of Fair Competition for the Bituminous Coal Industry," Journal of American History, Vol. 53, No. 3 (Dec., 1966), pp. 521–41 in JSTOR
  7. ^ a b c "Dollar Men & Prices". Time. Jan 21, 1935.
  8. ^ The National Recovery Administration | Economic History Services
  9. ^ Schlesinger
  10. ^ a b Johnson, Hugh S. The Blue Eagle From Egg to Earth. New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1935.
  11. ^ a b c d Himmelberg, Robert. The Origins of the National Recovery Administration. 2d paperback ed. New York: Fordham University Press, 1993. ISBN 0-8232-1541-5
  12. ^ "Charles T. Coiner, 91, Ex-Art Chief at Ayer". The New York Times. August 16, 1989.
  13. ^ Julia Cass (August 14, 1989). "Charles T. Coiner, 91, Painter And Noted Advertising Designer". Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on May 21, 2015.
  14. ^ "Charles T. Coiner". James A. Michener Art Museum. Archived from the original on September 3, 2004. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  15. ^ "Charles Coiner Papers". Syracuse University Library. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  16. ^ a b c Schlesinger, Jr., Arthur M. The Age of Roosevelt, Vol. 2: The Coming of the New Deal. Paperback ed. New York: Mariner Books, 2003. (Originally published 1958.) ISBN 0-618-34086-6
  17. ^ Krugner, Dorothy (January 15, 2009). "NRA buttons (from the National Button Society, USA)". Bead&Button. Kalmbach Publishing. Archived from the original on August 7, 2011. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  18. ^ Hamby, Alonzo L. For the Survival of Democracy. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994, p. 164.
  19. ^ Dan Cooper and Brian Grinder, "We Do Our Part: Henry Ford and the NRA," Financial History, Spring 2009, Issue 94, pp. 10–35
  20. ^ Sniegoski, Stephen J. "The Darrow Board and the Downfall of the NRA". Continuity. 1990 (14): 63–83.
  21. ^ Ronen Shamir, Managing Legal Uncertainty: Elite Lawyers in the New Deal (1995) p. 22
  22. ^ Shamir, pp. 24–25
  23. ^ Cooke, Alistair (1999). Memories of the Great & the Good. New York: Arcade Publishing. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-55970-479-3.
  24. ^ Reed, Lawrence W. Great Myths of the Great Depression Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
  25. ^ Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Jr. The Coming of the New Deal, Houghton Mifflin Books (2003), p. 115.
  26. ^ Pamela Pennock, "The National Recovery Administration and the Rubber Tire Industry, 1933–1935." Business History Review," 1997 71(4): 543–68 in JSTOR
  27. ^ Alexander, Barbara J. (1997). "Failed Cooperation in Heterogeneous Industries under the National Recovery Administration". Journal of Economic History. 57 (2): 322–44. doi:10.1017/s0022050700018465. JSTOR 2951040.
  28. ^ Landon R. Storrs, Civilizing Capitalism: The National Consumers' League, Women's Activism, and Labor Standards in the New Deal Era, (U of North Carolina Press, 2000) online edition
  29. ^ Clapper in Washington Post, Dec. 4, 1934, quoted in Best, 79–80 (1991).
  30. ^ a b National Recovery Administration, Authority Record (Corporate Body) USA, Committee on Descriptive Standards, International Council on Archives. Accessed 11 November 2010
  31. ^ Tim McNeese and Richard Jensen, The Great Depression 1929–1938 (2010) p. 90
  32. ^ Steven Emanuel and Lazar Emanuel, Constitutional Law (2008) p. 31
  33. ^ Executive Order 6632 Creating The National Recovery Review Board. March 7, 1934
  34. ^ Bardhan-Quallen, Sudipta. Franklin Delano Roosevelt: A National Hero. New York: Sterling Publishing Company, 2007. ISBN 1-4027-3545-6
  35. ^ Watkins, T.H. The Hungry Years: A Narrative History of the Great Depression in America. New York: Macmillan, 2000. ISBN 0-8050-6506-7
  36. ^ United States v. Gilliland, 312 US 86, 93-94 (1941) ("Legislation had been sought by the Secretary of the Interior to aid the enforcement of laws relating to the functions of the Department of the Interior and, in particular, to the enforcement of regulations under Sec. 9(c) of the [NIRA].").


  • Alexander, Barbara (1994). "The Impact of the National Industrial Recovery Act on Cartel Formation and Maintenance Costs". Review of Economics and Statistics. 76 (2): 245–54. doi:10.2307/2109879. JSTOR 2109879.
  • Best; Gary Dean. Pride, Prejudice, and Politics: Roosevelt Versus Recovery, 1933–1938. (1991) online edition ISBN 0-275-93524-8
  • Brand, Donald R. (1983). "Corporatism, the NRA, and the Oil Industry". Political Science Quarterly. 98 (1): 99–118. doi:10.2307/2150207. JSTOR 2150207. Uses corporatism model to explore the struggle between independent oil producers and major oil producers over production and price controls.
  • Burns, Arthur Robert (1934). "The First Phase of the National Industrial Recovery Act, 1933". Political Science Quarterly. 49 (2): 161–94. doi:10.2307/2142881. JSTOR 2142881.
  • Dearing, Charles L. et al. The ABC of the NRA, (1934) 200 pgs. online edition
  • Hawley, Ellis W. (1968). The New Deal and the Problem of Monopoly. Princeton UP. ISBN 0-8232-1609-8. The classic scholarly history
  • Hawley, Ellis W. (1975). "The New Deal and Business". In Bremner, Robert H.; Brody, David. The New Deal: The National Level. Ohio State University Press. pp. 50–82.
  • Johnson; Hugh S. The Blue Eagle, from Egg to Earth 1935, memoir by NRA director online edition
  • Lyon, Leverett S., Paul T. Homan, Lewis L. Lorwin, George Terborgh, Charles L. Dearing, Leon C. Marshall; The National Recovery Administration: An Analysis and Appraisal The Brookings Institution, 1935. in-depth analysis by economists, online edition
  • Ohl, John Kennedy (1985). Hugh S. Johnson and the New Deal. ISBN 0-87580-110-2. Academic biography
  • Schlesinger, Arthur Meier (1958). The Coming of the New Deal. pp. 87–176.
  • Sniegoski, Stephen J. (1990). "The Darrow Board and the Downfall of the NRA". Continuity. 1990 (14): 63–83. ISSN 0277-1446.
  • Taylor, Jason E. (2007). "Cartel Code Attributes and Cartel Performance: An Industry‐Level Analysis of the National Industrial Recovery Act". Journal of Law and Economics. 50 (3): 597–624. doi:10.1086/519808.

External links

A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States

A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495 (1935), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that invalidated regulations of the poultry industry according to the nondelegation doctrine and as an invalid use of Congress' power under the commerce clause. This was a unanimous decision that rendered the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, a main component of President Roosevelt's New Deal, unconstitutional.

Alexander Sachs

Alexander Sachs (August 1, 1893 – June 23, 1973) was an economist and banker. In October 1939 he delivered the Einstein–Szilárd letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, suggesting that nuclear-fission research ought to be pursued with a view to possibly constructing nuclear weapons, should they prove feasible, in view of the likelihood that Nazi Germany would do so. This led to the initiation of the United States' Manhattan Project.

Blue Eagle

Blue Eagle(s) may refer to:

Blue Eagle (National Recovery Administration), a symbol used to show compliance with the U.S. National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933

The Blue Eagle at Work, a legal treatise which analyzes collective bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935

Blue Eagles, British Army Air Corps helicopter aerobatic team

Blue Eagle (comics), a Marvel Comics character

Blue Eagle, Minnesota, a former settlement in Minnesota, United States

The Blue Eagle, a 1926 film directed by John Ford

Ateneo Blue Eagles, sports teams of Ateneo de Manila University

Adelaide Blue Eagles, soccer club

Acee Blue Eagle (1907-1959), American artist

MV Blue Eagle, a Singaporean coaster ship

Chilean blue eagle, alias black-chested buzzard-eagle, Geranoaetus melanoleucus

Connally Hot Oil Act of 1935

The Connally Hot Oil Act of 1935 was enacted in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to strike down Section 9 (c) of the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) in Panama Refining Co. v. Ryan. The act gave the President authority "to prohibit the transportation in interstate and foreign commerce of petroleum... produced or withdrawn from storage in excess of the amount permitted... by any State law." The act was named after Senator Tom Connally.

It revived the provisions of Section 9 (c) of the NIRA and added procedural safeguards, which, the Supreme Court argued, were constitutional. Ostensibly enacted to protect the industry from "contraband oil," it was mainly a way of cartelizing the industry to stabilize falling prices. The new law reestablished the NIRA's original provision that violators would receive a maximum jail sentence of six months but also increased the maximum fine penalty from $1000-which was enacted in the NIRA- to $2000.Though the legislation was intended to expire on June 16, 1937, it was maintained afterwards as a permanent law. There was some debate as to the law's effects on the transport of other fuels such as coal and timber, and many independent oil producers vehemently opposed the government regulations.In 1937, four federal courts upheld the Connally Act, which was later administered by the Federal Petroleum Board, also created by the law, within the Department of the Interior.

DeLesseps Story Morrison

deLesseps Story Morrison, Sr., known as Chep Morrison (January 18, 1912 – May 22, 1964), was an American attorney and politician, who was the 54th mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana from 1946 to 1961. He then served as an appointee of U.S. President John F. Kennedy as the United States ambassador to the Organization of American States between 1961 and 1963.

New Orleans' peak population was reached during Morrison's mayoralty, when the 1960 census recorded 627,525 inhabitants, a 10 percent increase from 1950. Morrison ran three primary campaigns for the Louisiana Democratic gubernatorial nomination, but was unsuccessful. Since Louisiana's African Americans had been effectively disfranchised at the turn of the century, the Democratic primary was the only competitive election in the then one-party state.

Donald Richberg

Donald Randall Richberg (July 10, 1881 - November 27, 1960) was an American attorney, civil servant, and author who was one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's key aides and who played a critical role in the New Deal. He co-wrote the National Industrial Recovery Act, was general counsel and executive director of the National Recovery Administration. He also co-authored the Railway Labor Act, the Norris-LaGuardia Act, and the Taft-Hartley Act.

Edward Stettinius Jr.

Edward Reilly Stettinius Jr. (October 22, 1900 – October 31, 1949) was an American businessman who served as United States Secretary of State under Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman from 1944 to 1945, and as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1945 to 1946.

George Marshall (conservationist)

George Marshall (February 11, 1904 – May 15, 2000) was an American economist, political activist, and conservationist. He was an early leader of The Wilderness Society and later the Sierra Club.

Hugh S. Johnson

Hugh Samuel Johnson (August 5, 1881 – April 15, 1942) was a U.S. Army officer, businessman, speech writer, government official and newspaper columnist. He is best known as a member of the Brain Trust of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932–34. He wrote numerous speeches for FDR and helped plan the New Deal. Appointed head of the National Recovery Administration (NRA) in 1933, he was highly energetic in his "blue eagle" campaign to reorganize American business to reduce competition and raise wages and prices. Schlesinger (1958) and Ohl (1985) conclude that he was an excellent organizer, but that he was also domineering, abusive, outspoken, and unable to work harmoniously with his peers. The NRA was terminated by a ruling of the Supreme Court, and Johnson left the administration after a little more than a year.

John J. Dempsey

John Joseph Dempsey (June 22, 1879 – March 11, 1958) was a United States Representative from New Mexico who also served as the 13th governor of New Mexico. He was born in White Haven, Pennsylvania, where he attended grade school. Employed as a telegrapher, he held various positions with the Brooklyn Union Elevator Company. He was the vice president of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company until 1919 when he entered the oil business in Oklahoma and became vice president of the Continental Oil and Asphalt Company. He moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1920 and was an independent oil operator and in 1928 became president of the United States Asphalt Company.

Dempsey in 1932 was appointed a member and later president of the Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico. He served as the state director for the National Recovery Administration in 1933, then became state director of the Federal Housing Administration and the National Emergency Council. He was elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-fourth, Seventy-fifth, and Seventy-sixth Congresses (January 3, 1935 – January 3, 1941) but was not a candidate for renomination in 1940 when he was an unsuccessful candidate for nomination for United States Senator.

Dempsey served as a member of the United States Maritime Commission in 1941. He was the Under Secretary of the Interior from July 7, 1941, until his resignation on June 24, 1942. He was Governor of New Mexico from January 1, 1943, to January 1, 1947 and was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for United States Senator in 1946. He was elected to the Eighty-second and the three succeeding Congresses and served from January 3, 1951, until his death in Washington, D.C., March 11, 1958. He is buried in Rosario Cemetery, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Leo Wolman

Leo Wolman (February 24, 1890 – October 2, 1961) was a noted American economist whose work focused on labor economics. He also served on a number of important boards and commissions for the federal government.

Leverett S. Lyon

Leverett Samuel Lyon (December 11, 1885 – 1959) was an American economist, lawyer and business executive, known for his works on education, government, marketing, and economic life, and particularly on the National Recovery Administration.

Machinery of government

The machinery of government (sometimes MoG) means the interconnected structures and processes of government, such as the functions and accountability of departments in the executive branch of government. The term is used particularly in the context of changes to established systems of public administration where different elements of machinery are created.

The phrase "machinery of government" is thought to have originated with John Stuart Mill in Considerations on Representative Government (1861). It was notably used to a public audience by President FD Roosevelt in a radio broadcast in 1934, commenting on the role of the National Recovery Administration (NRA) in delivering the New Deal. A number of national governments including those of Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom have adopted the term in official usage.

Margie Neal

Margie Elizabeth Neal (April 20, 1875 – December 19, 1971) was a Texas journalist and politician. She was the first woman elected to the Texas State Senate, in 1926.

National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933

The National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 (NIRA) was a US labor law and consumer law passed by the US Congress to authorize the President to regulate industry for fair wages and prices that would stimulate economic recovery. It also established a national public works program known as the Public Works Administration (PWA, not to be confused with the WPA of 1935). The National Recovery Administration (NRA) portion was widely hailed in 1933, but by 1934 business' opinion of the act had soured. By March 1934 the "NRA was engaged chiefly in drawing up these industrial codes for all industries to adopt." However, the NIRA was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1935 and not replaced.The legislation was enacted in June 1933 during the Great Depression in the United States as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal legislative program. Section 7(a) of the bill, which protected collective bargaining rights for unions, proved contentious (especially in the Senate), but both chambers eventually passed the legislation. President Roosevelt signed the bill into law on June 16, 1933. The Act had two main sections (or "titles"). Title I was devoted to industrial recovery, authorizing the promulgation of industrial codes of fair competition, guaranteed trade union rights, permitted the regulation of working standards, and regulated the price of certain refined petroleum products and their transportation. Title II established the Public Works Administration, outlined the projects and funding opportunities it could engage in. Title II also provided funding for the Act.

The Act was implemented by the NRA and the Public Works Administration (PWA). Very large numbers of regulations were generated under the authority granted to the NRA by the Act, which led to a significant loss of political support for Roosevelt and the New Deal. The NIRA was set to expire in June 1935, but in a major constitutional ruling the U.S. Supreme Court held Title I of the Act unconstitutional on May 27, 1935, in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495 (1935). The National Industrial Recovery Act is widely considered a policy failure, both in the 1930s and by historians today. Disputes over the reasons for this failure continue. Among the suggested causes are that the Act promoted economically harmful monopolies, that the Act lacked critical support from the business community, and that it was poorly administered. The Act encouraged union organizing, which led to significant labor unrest. The NIRA had no mechanisms for handling these problems, which led Congress to pass the National Labor Relations Act in 1935. The Act was also a major force behind a major modification of the law criminalizing making false statements.

Paul Douglas

Paul Howard Douglas (March 26, 1892 – September 24, 1976) was an American politician and Georgist economist. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a U.S. Senator from Illinois for eighteen years, from 1949 to 1967. During his Senate career, he was a prominent member of the liberal coalition.Born in Massachusetts and raised in Maine, Douglas graduated from Bowdoin College and Columbia University. He served as a professor of economics at several schools, most notably the University of Chicago, and earned a reputation as a reformer while a member of the Chicago City Council (1939–1942). During World War II, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel and becoming known as a war hero.

He was married to Emily Taft Douglas, a U.S. Representative from Illinois's At-large district (1945–1947).

Sarah Lucille Turner

Sarah Lucille Turner, later known as Sarah Turner Jepson (March 28, 1898 – April 12, 1972) was a Missouri lawyer and politician who later went on to a career at Newsweek. With Mellcene Thurman Smith, she was one of the first two women elected to the Missouri General Assembly, although Smith joked that she was first woman representative because representatives were sworn in by alphabetical order.

W. Averell Harriman

William Averell Harriman (November 15, 1891 – July 26, 1986), better known as Averell Harriman, was an American Democratic politician, businessman, and diplomat. The son of railroad baron E. H. Harriman, he served as Secretary of Commerce under President Harry S. Truman and later as the 48th Governor of New York. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1952 and 1956, as well as a core member of the group of foreign policy elders known as "The Wise Men".

While attending Groton School and Yale University, he made contacts that led to creation of a banking firm that eventually merged into Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.. He owned parts of various other companies, including Union Pacific Railroad, Merchant Shipping Corporation, and Polaroid Corporation. During the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harriman served in the National Recovery Administration and on the Business Advisory Council before moving into foreign policy roles. After helping to coordinate the Lend-Lease program, Harriman served as the ambassador to the Soviet Union and attended the major World War II conferences. After the war, he became a prominent advocate of George F. Kennan's policy of containment. He also served as Secretary of Commerce, and coordinated the implementation of the Marshall Plan.

In 1954, Harriman defeated Republican Senator Irving Ives to become the Governor of New York. He served a single term before his defeat by Nelson Rockefeller in the 1958 election. Harriman unsuccessfully sought the presidential nomination at the 1952 Democratic National Convention and the 1956 Democratic National Convention. Though Harriman had Truman's backing at the 1956 convention, the Democrats nominated Adlai Stevenson II in both elections.

After his gubernatorial defeat, Harriman became a widely respected foreign policy elder within the Democratic Party. He helped negotiate the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty during President John F. Kennedy's administration and was deeply involved in the Vietnam War during the Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson administrations. After Johnson left office in 1969, Harriman affiliated with various organizations, including the Club of Rome and the Council on Foreign Relations.

War Industries Board

The War Industries Board (WIB) was a United States government agency established on July 28, 1917, during World War I, to coordinate the purchase of war supplies between the War Department (Department of the Army) and the Navy Department. Because the United States Department of Defense (The Pentagon) would only come into existence in 1947, this was an ad hoc construction to promote cooperation between the Army and the Navy (with regard to procurement), it was founded by the Council of National Defense (which on its turn came into existence by the appropriation bill of August 1916). The War Industries Board was preceded by the General Munitions Board —which didn't have the authority it needed and was later strengthened and transformed into the WIB.The board was led initially by Frank A. Scott, who had previously been head of the General Munitions Board. He was replaced in November by Baltimore and Ohio Railroad president Daniel Willard. Finally, in January 1918, the board was reorganized under the leadership of financier Bernard M. Baruch.

The organization encouraged companies to use mass-production techniques to increase efficiency and urged them to eliminate waste by standardizing products. The board set production quotas and allocated raw materials. It also conducted psychological testing to help people find the right jobs.

The WIB dealt with labor-management disputes resulting from increased demand for products during World War I. The government could not negotiate prices and could not handle worker strikes, so the War Industries Board regulated the two to decrease tensions by stopping strikes with wage increases to prevent a shortage of supplies going to the war in Europe.

Under the War Industries Board, industrial production in the U.S. increased 20 percent, however, the vast majority of the war material was produced too late to do any good. The War Industries Board was decommissioned by an executive order on January 1, 1919.

With the war mobilization conducted under the supervision of the War Industries Board, unprecedented fortunes fell upon war producers and certain holders of raw materials and patents. Hearings in 1934 by the Nye Committee led by U.S. Senator Gerald Nye were intended to hold war profiteers to account.

Despite its relatively brief existence, the WIB was a major step in the development of national planning and government-business cooperation in the United States, and its precedents —like the National Recovery Administration— were influential during the New Deal and World War II.

Causes and legacy
New Deal
Second New Deal

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