By Marilynn S. Johnson
Greater than any occasion within the 20th century, international conflict II marked the arriving of age of America's West Coast towns. nearly in a single day, new warfare industries caused the mass city migration and improvement that will set off lasting social, cultural, and political alterations. For the San Francisco Bay zone, argues Marilynn Johnson, the adjustments introduced by way of global struggle II have been as dramatic as these introduced via the gold rush a century prior. concentrating on Oakland, Richmond, and different East Bay shipyard boomtowns, Johnson chronicles the protection buildup, hard work migration from the South and Midwest, housing concerns, and social and racial conflicts that pitted novices opposed to longtime Bay sector citizens. She follows this tale into the postwar period, while struggles over employment, housing, and civil rights formed the city political panorama for the Nineteen Fifties and past. She additionally lines the cultural legacy of struggle migration and exhibits how Southern faith and song turned a vital part of Bay quarter tradition. Johnson's assets are wide-ranging and contain shipyard documents, exertions histories, police reviews, and interviews. Her findings position the war's human drama at middle level and successfully recreate the feel of way of life in place of work, domestic, and neighborhood. Enriched by means of the images of Dorothea Lange and others, the second one Gold Rush makes a huge contribution to twentieth-century city stories in addition to to California historical past.
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Additional info for The Second Gold Rush: Oakland and the East Bay in World War II
2009 23:27:45] page_28 < previous page page_28 next page > Page 28 Canal was constructed in 1901. The island subsequently developed as a relatively insulated, middle-class community of white-collar homeowners, many of whom worked in Oakland and San Francisco. On Oakland's northern border, the city of Berkeley also housed a large white-collar population. A significant number of these residents, like those in adjoining Albany, were affiliated with the University of California, the institution around which the town had grown.
20 In their investigation, Kaiser officials found significantly higher attrition rates among southern white recruits. Noting a 5 percent loss among recruits from Memphis and Little Rock compared with 3 percent among those from Minneapolis, management observed that southerners were more prone to heart ailments and other health problems due to poor diets and medical treatment. 2009 23:27:58] page_41 < previous page page_41 next page > Page 41 continued, southern recruits were "of a very different character than those from the Middle West" and were continually grumbling about conditions.
As the labor shortage intensified, however, both employers and women pressured the union to change its policy. In July 1942, a group of women seeking shipyard employment staged a demonstration at the Boilermakers' headquarters in San Francisco. Shortly afterward, the union amended its constitution to admit women, and by the end of the year thousands of women were working in East Bay yards at a variety of trades. Contrary to government propaganda, middle-class housewives did not flock to defense plants to join the ranks of "Rosie the Riveter"; rather, local working-class women and middle-to-low-income migrant women took up the call.