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In 1940, when a defense plant moved into the Gulfport town of Freeport, Texas, the Great Depression came to a screeching halt. Within three months their population shot up from 3,100 to a whopping 7,500, and the economic blessing was not simply confined to that one region:

"Towns like Freeport, booming largely because of the national-defense program, are hard put to bed down the workers that swarm upon them. Bremerton, Washington, home port of the vital Puget Sound Navy Yard, is one of the hardest hit. There was a housing shortage when the Navy Yard had a civilian personnel of 3,000 men and the figure is now rising toward 8,500. Hartford, Connecticut, home of aircraft industries is serious, but not as acute as Bremerton. Employment in the town's three major industries has tripled in the past few months. Similar conditions. Similar conditions prevail at East Moline, Illinois, where the Rock island Arsenal has added upward of 3,000 workers. Although the United States Housing Authority estimates that there is an acute housing shortage in 200 national-defense cities, and at the time of this writing has earmarked $29,000,000 to help alleviate these shortages."

     


Prosperity Returns to Freeport, Texas  (Collier's Magazine, 1940)

Prosperity Returns to Freeport, Texas  (Collier's Magazine, 1940)

Prosperity Returns to Freeport, Texas  (Collier's Magazine, 1940)

Prosperity Returns to Freeport, Texas  (Collier's Magazine, 1940)

Prosperity Returns to Freeport, Texas  (Collier's Magazine, 1940)

Prosperity Returns to Freeport, Texas  (Collier's Magazine, 1940)

Prosperity Returns to Freeport, Texas  (Collier's Magazine, 1940)

Prosperity Returns to Freeport, Texas  (Collier's Magazine, 1940)

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