Chicago - that "broad-shouldered city" plopped on the shores of Lake Michigan saw enormous changes during the war years, most notably due to the overnight construction of over 260 defense plants and the opening of its subway system. Half a million war workers arrived to toil in her new factories while it is said that each city block in Chicago dispatched, on average, at least seven of her sons and daughters for the armed services.
"Nerves are taught with war tension. Hard work adds to the strain and increases the tempo. People walk faster in the streets. Stampedes for surface cars, and the new subway are more chaotic than ever... Five thousand block flagpoles have been erected by block committees of the Office of Civilian Defense. Listed in some manner near each are the names of all the GIs from the block. Some of the installations are elaborate and have bulletin boards that are kept up to date with personal news from camps and war theaters."
This 1944 magazine article will tell you about Washington, DC during the war years.