Origin Of The Special Projects Administration
In the spring of 1932, twenty thousand veterans and their families set up protest camps in Washington, D.C. to demand access to their war-time military bonuses. That summer, the Attorney General ordered the camp’s evacuation by force. The ensuing mayhem spurred President Hoover to create the Special Projects Administration – a group of volunteers who were promised first pick of various public works projects that he’d authorized, hoping to offset the deepening depression. While not ‘real’ jobs, it was a better offer to the veterans of the ‘Bonus Army’ than routing them into the Potomac.
In the past two years, as a result of Hoover’s belief in ‘volunteerism’, the SPA has grown to encompass an array of duties, largely associated with the organization of civic renovations in communities spanning the forty eight states. That side of things is done by the Works Progress Administration which, thanks to the President, has given 8 million Americans jobs. However, while the WPA now makes the headlines, SPA ‘volunteers’ get tied to any number of bureaucratic branches… including the United States Bureau of Investigation. And that’s where the truly interesting stuff happens.
Veterans who are exceptionally ‘talented’ have been quietly channeled into the Task Force Division, which is a semi-independent SPA Division attached to the USBI whose Director, Clifton H. Osborne, answers only to the President. The TFD works to police interstate crime alongside the USBI and J. Edgar Hoover (who is currently the motive force behind the Bureau, and who will see it formed into the Federal Bureau of Investigation pretty soon).
The Task Force Division’s activities aren’t widely reported in the popular press. It has a number of Task Force Coordinators who each run an Official Project Team, which might consist of full time employees, usually ex-military, who research and eliminate the more supernatural threats to national security, or might be made up of freelance teams who’ve been recruited for similar purposes. The Coordinators of freelance teams provide a vetting process, occasionally extending offers to join the organization full time to highly dedicated teams (or ‘task forces’ as they get called using the office jargon).
If all of this seems confusing, a mess of layered departments, divisions and bureaus… well, it’s meant to. The TFD is an official part of the government, but it’s best not to scare the public with talk of hunting supernatural threats. People are already spooked enough after the rise of spiritualism and superstition in the ‘20s and there’s no point adding hysteria to the Great Depression. Buried within plain sight, the work of these task forces remains largely invisible, even to the accountants on Capitol Hill who scrutinize every dollar of federal spending.
Next: Working For The S P A