On 9th March 1933, the new president, Franklin D. Roosevelt called a special session of Congress. He told the members that unemployment could only be solved "by direct recruiting by the Government itself." For the next three months, Roosevelt proposed, and Congress passed, a series of important bills that attempted to deal with the problem of unemployment. The special session of Congress became known as the Hundred Days and provided the basis for Roosevelt's New Deal.
This included the Farm Security Administration (FSA) that was established in 1935 that had a set of responsibilities that included support for small farmers and the refurbishment of land and communities ruined by the Depression.
Roy Stryker was appointed to organize a photographic collection of the FSA work. To carry out he employed a small group of photographers that included Esther Bubley, Marjory Collins, Mary Post Wolcott, Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, Jack Delano, Gordon Parks, Charlotte Brooks, John Vachon, Carl Mydans, Dorothea Lange and Ben Shahn.
In 1943 Stryker was asked to organize the Standard Oil project. Photographers who took part in this attempt to document the lives of workers in the oil industry included Russell Lee, Gordon Parks, Esther Bubley and John Vachon.