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Utah Banker Marriner S. Eccles Helped Design FDR's New Deal
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UTAH aND THE COLD WAR

World War I and Utah
Utah's Capitols
Herbert S. Auerbach, Renaissance Man
Utah's "Ugly Duckling" Salt Flats
Publicizing Bryce Canyon
The Last Indian Uprising
Home Industry 20th Century Style
Some 80 Utah Nurses Served in World War I
World War I Heroine Maud Fitch Lived in Eureka, Utah
Mexican Families and the Sugar Industry in Garland
The Development of Zion National Park
The Twenties
Artist John Held, Jr. Created Cultural Icons, 1920's
Media Development in Weber County
Silent Films Intrigued & Occasionally Offended
Coal Production Amid the Wars
Sheep Fueled 1920's Economy
Military Installations
Boxcars and Section Houses
Jack Dempsey Loved Fighting, Mining, and Cowboying
Radio in Utah Began in May 1922 on Station KZN
The Cigarette Ban of the 19020's Caused an Uproar
Prohibition Failed to Stop the Liquor Flow in Utah
Lawyer Ran For President on the Farmer-Labor Ticket
George Sutherland Served on the U.S. Supreme Court
Alice Stratton Feared and Made Fun of "Kaiser Bill"
Klansmen at a Funeral and a Terrible Lynching
President Harding's 1923 Visit to Utah
Growing Crops For the Cannery
Dinosaur National Monument
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Ogden's the Bigelow-Preserves a Historic Area
Philo T. Farnsworth's Invention
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The White Book Road Guide
The Great Depression
Depression Memories
"Even Grasshoppers Were Starving" During Drought
New Deal Agencies Built 233 Buildings in Utah
"Alphabet" Agencies in Utah County
The Civilian Conservation Corps Was a Boon to Utah
The Civilian Conservation Corps
Marriner S. Eccles Helped Design FDR's New Deal
Reed Smoot and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, 1930
Reed Smoot & America's Natural Resources, 1903-33
Children in the 1930's Hoped to Become Nurses & Pilots
Arches National Monument
A Labor Inspector During the Great Depression
Clean Clothes Blowing in the Breeze
Utah's Rosies in the War
Garfield County Airport Has Unusual Hangar
Marie Ogden Led Spiritual Group in San Juan County
Uinta Basin Group Trekked to the 1933 World's Fair
Helen Hofmann Bertagnole-"Utah's Queen of Swing"
World War II in Utah
How Trains Helped Win a War
The War Effort at Home
Topaz Relocation Center
Topaz: Japanese American Interned in UT During WWII
Japanese Agricultural Colony at Keetley
Utahn Survives the Attack at Pearl Harbor
The USS Salt Lake City Made History
Utah Naval Officer Died a Hero's Death at Pearl Harbor
Rhymes Filled Children's Autograph Books
Utah's Rosies Upshot
Women Workers and Housing Issues
World War II Claimed the Lives of Four Utah Brothers

Jeffrey D. Nichols
History Blazer, March 1995

The Great Depression lasted from 1929 until war production revived the economy in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Although conservative economists argued that the depression reflected normal cycles and should not be addressed with extraordinary measures, the high levels of unemployment and general suffering forced policymakers to seek new approaches. One of the major architects of the New Deal programs was a short, slender, seemingly ordinary Utah banker, Marriner S. Eccles.

Eccles was already an established banker and entrepreneur when he came to the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "brain trust." Born in Logan in 1890, Eccles worked at his father's Oregon lumber mills and then attended Brigham Young College in Logan. After serving an LDS mission in Scotland, he returned to manage the family estate. His business activities flourished during the prosperous 1920s, and at various times, he served as president of First Savings Bank, Sego Milk Products Company, Utah Construction Company, Stoddard Lumber Company, and First Security Corporation.

Mariner Eccles

Mariner Eccles, prominent Utah businessman and banker who sponsored the Banking Act of 1935, reconstructing the Federal Reserve System into the present form.

Dr. Rexford G. Tugwell, one of Roosevelt's closest advisors, invited Eccles to Washington for a number of conferences. While there he testified before the Senate Finance Committee, advocating many of the measures that would become cornerstones of the New Deal. While traditional economics stressed a hands-off, open market approach from government and balanced budgets, Eccles proposed public works to relieve unemployment and direct relief measures, as well as a minimum wage, unemployment insurance, and old age pensions. He was appointed assistant to the secretary of the Treasury and then left after ten months to become chairman of the Federal Reserve Board in 1934. Established, major bank executives initially underestimated the somewhat obscure Utahn, but Eccles's diplomatic skills and expertise made him an influential policymaker. He wrote the Banking Act of 1935 and moved to restructure the Federal Reserve System. Although New Deal policies did not end the depression, they did help to ameliorate the worst suffering and stabilize the country's financial structure.

During his term Eccles helped to establish the independence of the Fed from the Treasury Department. He championed the now-familiar compensatory policies of manipulating interest rates, tax rates, and currency supplies to counter harmful economic trends. When Eccles disagreed with Truman administration officials over policies, the president declined to reappoint him as chairman in 1948. Eccles remained on the Fed's Board of Governors until 1951, and served on a number of important advisory bodies. He was the U.S. delegate to the Bretton Woods Conference that created the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Eccles returned to his private business and philanthropic interests in 1952, serving as CEO and later honorary chairman and director of First Security Corporation, Amalgamated Sugar Company, and Utah International Incorporated until his death in 1977. In 1982 the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C., was renamed the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building.

 

See: First Focus-Special Founder's Day Supplement (First Security Bank), September 1990.

 

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