See America (Paperback)
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Created in 1937 by Interior Secretary Harold Ickes and given formal status by Congress in 1940, the US Travel Bureau played a seminal role by setting the precedent for federal involvement in tourism. Business, otherwise hostile to FDR's New Deal, enthusiastically supported its work and Roosevelt, who significantly expanded the National Park system, saw increased tourism as a means to increase attendance, bolster economic activity, and counteract the Great Depression. The Bureau developed unusually extensive public relations and marketing programs that attempted to persuade citizens to travel more. The Travel Bureau also quietly engaged in vigorous marketing to encourage African Americans to travel, including sponsoring the 1940 and 1941 editions of the Green Book, the travel guide for African Americans facing segregated restaurants and lodging. Eventually, travel promotion was transferred to the Commerce Department by Congress and President Nixon with a federal surtax to fund it and where it continues today.
About the Author
Mordecai Lee is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the author of many books, including The First Presidential Communications Agency: FDR's Office of Government Reports; The Philosopher-Lobbyist: John Dewey and the People's Lobby, 1928-1940; and Get Things Moving! FDR, Wayne Coy, and the Office for Emergency Management, 1941-1943, all published by SUNY Press