Fascinating Photos of People Cooling Off in New York’s Overflowing Public Pools

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In order to pull the United States out of the Great Depression, the New Deal, a series of programs, public work projects, financial reforms, and regulations, was enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt between 1933 and 1939. After the construction of highways, the largest share of New Deal spending went to the creation of public parks and recreation areas.
McCarren Park Pool, 1937

In New York City, Robert Moses was appointed the sole commissioner of the Parks Department by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Moses assembled an army of designers, engineers and construction supervisors. In just a few years, hundreds of playgrounds, 53 recreational buildings, 10 golf courses and three zoos were created.
In the sweltering summer of 1936, the city opened 11 enormous outdoor pools with an average capacity of 5,000 people, to the great relief of New Yorkers. “Here is something you can be proud of.” Said the Mayor at the opening of the Thomas Jefferson Pool. “It is the last word in engineering, hygiene, and construction that could be put into a pool.”
Take a look at the ecstatic crowds that flocked to these urban oases through these 20 fascinating black and white photographs below:

Wading pool, Carmansville Playground, 1935

Astoria Park Pool, 1936

Astoria Park Pool, 1936

Swimming contest, Astoria Park Pool, 1936

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