A New Class Brings the Number of American World War II Heritage Cities to 30



Workers and residents at a war bonds drive in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, June 1945. During the Manhattan Project hundreds of thousands of people were employed with a total of nearly 130,000 actively employed at the peak of the project in June of 1945.

Photo by Ed Westcott courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy

Documenting community industrial development in the United States has been a core mission of Site Selection since we launched publication 70 years ago this month.

Much of that growth can be traced to wheels set in motion during World War II, when communities of every size were called upon to contribute to the Allied war effort with increased manufacturing production and a range of related work and campaigns. This heritage in many cases put those communities on a growth path that didn’t stop when the war did, establishing a new critical mass of industry and population.

That history can be viewed through the lens of the American World War II Heritage Cities program administered by the National Park Service. Last week, 11 new communities were officially designated, bringing the total to 30 communities designated since the program was established as part of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019 to recognize the historic importance of the United States’ domestic involvement in World War II.

Wilmington, North Carolina, was the first designated community in September 2020. The law stipulates that only one region per state can receive the designation. The other Wilmington in Delaware was among the 11 communities to join the list last week.

How much have the industrial and demographic effects of World War II reverberated? One way to quantify them is to look at Site Selection’s Conway Projects Database, which tracks corporate end-user facility investments (locations and expansions) that meet certain minimum parameters (at least $1 million invested, 20 new jobs created or 20,000 new sq. ft. of space).



A dive into the data shows that 1,251 projects have landed in the 30 American World War II Heritage Cities since 2015 — a rate of 139 projects annually.

Visit the home page of the program for area histories complete with historic photographs for all 30 communities. Here are a few facts about each drawn from their citations and presented alphabetically by state:

Foley, Alabama: On Dec. 5, 1942, less than one year after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Navy opened Barin Field, a training center for U.S. Navy pilots, in Foley, which had 846 people in the 1940 census. “By 1945, 1,886 enlisted personnel and 165 officers had been assigned to Barin Field helping to further expand Foley's wartime population.”

Tempe, Arizona: “Camp Papago Park near Tempe was established in 1943 by the U.S. military largely to house prisoners from the German Navy (Kriegsmarine). The camp had a capacity of 3,000 prisoners …Tempe also grew cotton during the war years, which had many uses in war production such as uniforms and sheets. Aside from agriculture, local universities helped train members in college for jobs in their respective military branches.”

Richmond, California: “During World War II, Richmond, California played a pivotal role in the home front effort. It’s bustling port, shipyards, and industrial infrastructure became the epicenter of U.S. naval production and repair on the west coast. The four Kaiser shipyards in Richmond produced 747 ships, more than any other shipyard complex in the country. And, perhaps most importantly, Richmond responded to the war with unprecedented social services: the creation of prepaid health insurance; 24-hour childcare; and the most extensive federal housing program in the United States.” Among other aspects, the area is home to the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park.

East Hartford, Connecticut: “Since before World War II, East Hartford, Connecticut has been synonymous with Pratt & Whitney — a significant designer and manufacturer of piston aircraft engines. In 1929 the company relocated its factories to a 1100-acre tract in East Hartford, which included hangars and a runway for aircraft testing. With thousands of new employees needed to meet the demand caused by the war effort, East Hartford’s population grew — tripling between 1929 and 1950 — and the city literally grew up around it. After the fall of France in 1940, Pratt & Whitney increased its production rates and expanded facilities. Factory employment grew from 3,000 to 40,000 workers. Over 360,000 engines were produced at East Hartford and other plants by war’s end.”

In the 21st century, luminarias with messages of peace are part of the Days of Peace and Remembrance in Oak Ridge.

Photo courtesy of National Park Service

Wilmington, Delaware: “Shipbuilding became the standout industry for Wilmington during the war. The Dravo Corporation was awarded Navy contracts and the Wilmington shipyards received orders for destroyer escorts and landing ships, including the distinctive "Wilmington type" Landing Ship Medium … Over 14,100 Wilmington workers in two shipyards, along with large numbers of subcontractors, contributed to the Allied victory through their home front efforts. Although shipbuilding waned post-WWII, Wilmington adapted to peacetime production with a new attitude and understanding of what a committed and diverse workforce could accomplish.”

Pensacola, Florida: “Established in 1914, the Naval Air Station Pensacola (NASP) had long been considered the ‘Cradle of Naval Aviation.’ NASP graduated 28,625 pilots during World War II, nearly half of the naval aviators who served. Eglin Army Air Field, one of the largest installations of its kind, served as an aircraft armament proving ground and a research and development facility … NASP tripled from training 800 to 2,500 students every month, and expanded to include the Naval Photography School, which became the largest specialized program of its type in the world. Additional programs included the Navy’s only School of Aviation Medicine for qualifying flight surgeons.”

Savannah and Chatham County, Georgia: “The Savannah Shipyard located along the Savannah River built Coast Guard auxiliary craft, Minesweepers, and Liberty ships. It also shipped out 1.24 million tons of war materials produced by local companies and was the port of embarkation for supplies being sent inland. Local factories made items such as asphalt, boxes, paper, bomb casings, and tractor trailers for military use. The 400-acre Savannah Quartermaster Depot distributed over 1 million pounds of supplies each year during the war. And The Eighth Air Force was originally activated in Savannah in 1942. In 1940 the U.S. Army chose Savannah's Municipal Airport — Hunter Field — as the home of a light bomber training base … From 1941 to 1943, the population of the base grew to 10,000 people and its boundaries expanded from 900 to approximately 3,000 acres.”

Evansville, Indiana: “World War II changed Evansville into a leading defense manufacturer, resulting in 80 factories transitioning to war production and manufacturing 330 different goods for the war effort. The military recognized the high production levels achieved by awarding 15 businesses in the region with Army-Navy “E” Awards. Factories recruited thousands of workers to meet high demand. As a result, employment dramatically increased from 18,000 in 1940 to 60,000 by the middle of the war.” Among the biggest industrial employers: Chrysler, the Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Co. Shipyard, Republican Aviation Company and Mead Johnson and Company.

Waterloo, Iowa: The war kicked into gear an industrial economy and supply chain network in Waterloo already dominated by John Deere and meatpacker Rath Packing Company. “Manufacturing and assembly at the John Deere Tractor Company quickly shifted to supplying the army with tank transmissions and airplane parts. The Rath Packing Company – by now the country’s largest single-unit meatpacking facility – turned to feeding the troops. Several other Waterloo factories began and ramped up their production of bombs, munitions, clothing, tents, and miscellaneous personal and tactical equipment.”

Wichita, Kansas: “As the ‘Air Capitol of the World,’ the City of Wichita, Kansas has a strong connection with World War II, with its greatest home front accomplishment being the development and production of military aircraft. In all nearly 26,000 planes of various types were produced: single and multi-engine training craft; cargo and transport planes; and more than 1600 B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers. Thousands more men and women flocked to Wichita for jobs; the city’s population jumped from 114,966 in 1940 to approximately 200,000 in 1943 … In 1951, the city’s Municipal Airport site was taken over by the United States Air Force to become McConnell Air Force Base.”

To qualify as a journeyman sign painter at Hanford in Washington, one had to demonstrate the ability to hand paint in at least three different fonts. “Hanford sign painters were the beginning of what would become an important part of nuclear safety around the world today — the use of standardized signs to warn of workplace dangers,” says the NPS.

Photos courtesy of NPS

New Orleans, Louisiana: “Due to its unique geography, New Orleans, Louisiana served as a Port of Embarkation for tens of thousands of soldiers and millions of tons of cargo and supplies to be transported overseas. Over one-third of the 16 million Americans who served in the war travelled through Louisiana or New Orleans for training and/or deployment. As a result, New Orleans experienced a huge influx of people from rural communities from across the region. Higgins Industries designed and built a unique vessel that forever changed the Allied war strategy and the way navies fought and still fight wars. The ‘Higgins boats’ — Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel (LCVP) — allowed infantry and small vehicles to exit through a front ramp directly onto an open beach … Higgins Industries had the first racially integrated workforce in New Orleans and they were all paid equal wages according to their job rating. With over 25,000 men and women the company had the largest integrated workforce in the South, producing over 20,000 craft.”

Baltimore County, Maryland: “Before the start of World War II, east Baltimore County was already a center of industry for the East Coast. In the southeast portion of the county, Sparrows Point, a steel mill and shipyard eventually purchased by Bethlehem Steel in 1916, had been producing materials for railroads, skyscrapers, and bridges since the late 1800s. Ten miles to the north in Middle River, Glenn L. Martin purchased over 1200 acres of land in 1929 for an aviation factory, the Glen L. Martin Company (eventually Martin Marietta) … At the height of World War II, Bethlehem Steel employed approximately 36,000 people in its Sparrow Point facilities. The Glenn L. Martin Company also saw a similar boom … By 1942 the number of people employed by the company at Middle River had reached 53,000 and by 1944, African American workers made up 5% of the workforce and women made up 35%.” (Read more about what’s happened at Sparrows Point in recent years.)

Springfield, Massachusetts: “The Springfield Armory has a long tradition of service that was elucidated during World War II. The renowned M-1 Garand rifle saw service as the standard U.S. service rifle during the war and subsequent conflicts. To meet demands, the armory’s workforce expanded to over 7,500 working three shifts to produce more than 160 rifles per hour.” Women Ordnance Workers comprised 43% of the staff. “By war’s end 3.1 million M-1 rifles had been manufactured. Factories in Springfield received awards for efficiency and quality. Several local hospitals provided intensive training programs to address a paucity of skilled nurses.”

During World War II, in addition to more than 150,000 women serving in the Women’s Army Core (WAC), women stepped up to fill new roles that fell under such cutey-pie nicknames as “Wendy the Welder” and “the Calutron Girls,” both pictured here. “Calutron Girl was a nickname given to the control operators at Y-12 during the Manhattan Project,” explains the NPS. “These young women were trained with just enough knowledge to operate the 1,152 mass spectrometers separating uranium isotopes. Like many workers during the Manhattan Project, Calutron Girls only knew enough to do what is needed but not what the outcome was.”

Pascagoula, Mississippi: The Ingalls Iron Works shipyard started building ocean-going barges (eventually at the rate of two vessels every 10 days) in late 1938. Ingalls also built building C-2, C-3, Type-C Liberty ships (producing one ship every 18 days), and Attacker-class escort carriers, for a total of some 90 vessels. Walker Shipyard steadily built 40 ocean-going tugs for transporting oil and gas along the U.S. shoreline. The U.S. Corps of Engineers worked to ensure coastal and internal navigation. Other city industries quickly converted from peacetime manufacturing to defense production. The Jackson County textile mill hired 400 additional workers to meet demand for uniforms, overcoats, and other clothing, while the Pascagoula Decoy Company shifted to the production of paddles, oars, and other tools … Pascagoula’s adaptations to wartime called for the overnight transformation of a small fishing and boatbuilding town of fewer than 4,000 people into a modern industrial powerhouse of nearly 38,000.”

Johnson County and Warrensburg, Missouri: “In early 1942, the U.S. Army chose an area in Johnson County, Missouri just south of the town of Knob Noster as the site of a new training base. Sedalia Glider Base (later renamed Sedalia Army Air Field) was assigned to I Troop Carrier Command, Army Air Force and was one of eight sites in the U.S. dedicated to training glider pilots and Army paratroops … Warrensburg, the seat of Johnson County, was the home of the Central Missouri State Teachers College (CMSTC), today the University of Central Missouri. During World War II, CMSTC was one of 131 colleges and universities in the U.S. chosen to participate in the Navy's V-12 Officer Training Program and one of only seven in Missouri selected to conduct line (deck) officer training.”

Lewistown, Montana: “In 1942, a B-17 Flying Fortress training base was established west of Lewistown, Montana, by the US Army Air Corps. Named the Lewistown Satellite Airfield, it was one of four training facilities in Montana for B-17 Flying Fortress crews and was used to train them for European and North African missions. The B-17, a four-engine behemoth developed in the 1930s, was utilized in World War II bombing campaigns in Germany. The model reportedly dropped more bombs than any other U.S. aircraft in during the war … The men familiarized themselves with all aspects of the B-17 and trained with the top secret Norden bombsight, a computerized aiming device that reportedly could ‘put bombs in a pickle barrel.’ The crews completed final proficiency phase training at Lewistown before being assigned to aerial combat in Europe and North Africa. Nearly 1,000 GIs trained at the The Lewistown Satellite Airfield.”

Hastings, Nebraska: “Before World War II Hastings, Nebraska was a small city struggling to recover from the Great Depression and a population decline. With the start of the war, communities emerging from the Depression saw an opportunity for economic recovery through war production. The announcement that Hastings would be getting a defense facility was greeted enthusiastically by many city residents who recognized the economic and growth potential it offered to the surrounding community. The new defense facility, Naval Ammunition Depot Hastings (NAD Hastings), was the largest of four inland U.S. Navy ammunition depots … Plans called for a 30,000-acre site with six loading plants and 700 bunkers but as the war progressed, the depot expanded to over 48,000 acres, eventually consisted of 207 miles of railroad track, 274 miles of roads, 2,200 buildings, warehouses, bunkers, and hundreds of igloo-shaped explosives storage magazines … At the height of production, the depot provided new jobs to nearly 10,000 military and civilian workers.”

A map shows the locations of The Manhattan Project and the flow of plutonium from Hanford and uranium from Oak Ridge to Los Alamos to create the atomic bombs.

Image courtesy of NPS

Boulder City and Henderson, Nevada: “Due to their proximity to Hoover Dam, the surrounding areas of Boulder City and the City of Henderson became centers of military activity during World War II. A U.S. Army post was established in Boulder City in 1941 to protect the dam from enemy sabotage. The post was staffed by a battalion of military police that, at its peak, included 27 officers and more than 700 enlisted men. Hoover Dam also provided cheap hydroelectric power and an abundant water supply that attracted industrial development and transformed the surrounding desert into a center of wartime defense manufacturing. During the war, magnesium was a vital component in the production of aircraft, incendiary bombs, and other parts of America’s airborne arsenal. With its reliable source of electric power and a plentiful water supply, Henderson was ideally suited to magnesium production. In mid-1941, Basic Magnesium Inc. (BMI) was formed there as part of a joint venture between Basic Refractories, Inc., a Cleveland-based company operated by Howard Eels, and the British materials manufacturer Magnesium Elektron Inc. (MEL) … At its peak, BMI employed 14,000 workers in the Henderson and Boulder City area.”

Paterson, New Jersey: “Paterson had over 300 allied defense industries during the war; Paterson’s two key contributions to the war effort — silk and aircraft manufacturing — warranted increased civil defense preparations and the establishment of military observation and defense posts. Prior to the First World War, Paterson earned the nickname “Silk City,” at its height producing 50% of the nation’s finished silk and 80% of global production. Due to wartime rationing and disruption of Asian supply chains, a group of smaller Paterson firms called the Allied Textile Printers (ATP) pivoted from silk production to working with nylon. The Curtiss-Wright Corporation was critically important industry for the allied war effort, producing thousands of military aircraft engines that powered every B-17 Flying Fortress and Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber as well as numerous other military vehicles such as the M4A6 Sherman and M6 Heavy Tanks … The corporation employed over 50,000 employees and built 2.3 million+ square feet of new manufacturing space. Many women were employed as men left for the warfront and the city’s African American population swelled as thousands were employed in the defense industries.”

Los Alamos County, New Mexico: “During World War II more than 6,000 scientists, engineers, technicians, and military and support personnel voluntarily relocated to the Ranch School in Los Alamos, New Mexico to work on the Manhattan Project, an unprecedented, top secret U.S. government program in which the United States rushed to develop and deploy atomic weapons before Nazi Germany. Under the leadership of General Leslie Groves, a military base and laboratory — a ‘secret city’ — was built within weeks … In 2015 the Los Alamos site was included in Manhattan Project National Historical Park,” which also incorporates locations in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the Tri-Cities of Washington (see separate citations).

A fisheye lens captures the interior of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s home at Los Alamos.

Photo courtesy of NPS

Yonkers, New York: “Companies and organizations in Yonkers received dozens of contracts to produce items needed to fight the war. Many of them converted from manufacturing regular products to war production. Almost 75 Yonkers companies, big and small, worked to meet the needs of the war effort. Alexander Smith &. Sons Carpet Company, the largest carpet manufacturer in the country, took on the challenge of making duck cloth (duck canvas) and blankets for the U.S. military. Other companies in the city manufactured diverse products such as gloves, parachute, gun turrets, canal locks, lubricants, torpedoes and pillowcases, which were made by residents at the New York Guild for the Jewish Blind. In addition, Yonkers had one of the few deep-water ports on the Hudson River, an asset for war work done by Arthur Blair Shipyards, the U.S. Shipbuilding Corporation, and Refined Syrups and Sugars.”

Wilmington, North Carolina: The first community to be designated as an American World War II Heritage City was still suffering from the effects of the Great Depression when the opening of the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company during World War II ultimately revived the area’s economy, transforming Wilmington into “The Defense Capital of the State.” “After receiving approval from the Maritime Commission, the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company began construction of a new shipyard along the east bank of the Cape Fear River on February 3, 1941. The company also established a subsidiary, the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, to operate the shipyard. The shipyard transformed Wilmington into an industrial hub and spurred people to move to the Wilmington area, resulting in the city’s population increasing from 33,000 to 50,000. By 1943, the shipyard employed approximately 20,000 people. Of those, 1,628 were women and 6,000 were African Americans.”

Montgomery County, Ohio: “Montgomery County, Ohio, includes the city of Dayton and large portions of what is today called Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The United States Army Air Corps entered the Second World War at a severe numerical and technological disadvantage. To help overcome these weaknesses, in 1940 the federal government allocated $300 million to improve Wright Field and to create an Air Corps with at least 5,500 planes. In 1941, only forty buildings existed at Wright Field, but by 1944, the airfield consisted of more than 300 buildings … Overall, wartime contracts in Montgomery County exceeded $1.645 billion. Employment exploded for all industries; for example, NCR’s employment increased from 8,000 workers in 1940 to 20,000 by 1945. Dayton’s African American population increased by 3,000 to 20,273, most migrating from the south to work in factories. Factories also steadily employed thousands of women in Dayton, with women comprise 50% of the manufacturing workforce by 1945.”

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: “The region was instrumental to the federal government’s efforts to convert civilian production to military goods, spending $511 million on factory expansion during the war, the sixth largest amount among the country’s then-leading industrial centers. The expansion efforts not only increased capacity but also rapidly converted many light strip mills into heavy plate mills for the construction of warships, tanks, and other heavy machinery. Factories that had not recovered from the Great Depression would come to operate around the clock, churning out defense materials including airplane propeller blades, torpedoes, electronic radio systems, anti-aircraft guns, generators, and a remarkable amount of steel and aluminum. Steel producers in Pittsburgh responded quickly to the war effort: increasing production by more than 200% by 1942, becoming the world’s leading producer of steel. (Factory expansion at the Homestead mill caused the necessary displacement of some 8,000 residents.) The Mesta Machine Company produced more than half of the 155mm gun tubes used in the war. The community was also known for its shipbuilding, producing 20 percent of LSTs (Landing Ship, Tank) built during the war, as well as sub chasers, LSM (Landing Ship, Medium) and a variety of transport craft.” (Read this 2022 Site Selection story by Mark Arend about the modern conversion of one of those plants for renewable energy manufacturing.)

Oak Ridge, Tennessee: “In 1942, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bought an estimated 60,000 acres of rural farmland to construct a "temporary" city and three facilities to develop the technology that helped to end the war. The “Secret City” served as the headquarters of the Manhattan Project, where military leaders and scientists oversaw the enrichment of uranium and proof that plutonium could be produced in a uranium reactor for the development of the world’s first atomic weapons. More than 75,000 people lived in the city and over 80,000 workers worked tirelessly in Oak Ridge (Tennessee’s 5th largest city) to undertake this massive challenge, even though almost none of them knew what they were working on. Construction of major facilities began in 1943. Uranium enriched at Oak Ridge would ultimately be used in the “Little Boy” atomic bomb. Sixty percent of the $2 billion Manhattan Project funding came to Oak Ridge.”

Oak Ridge elementary education prior to 1954 was totally segregated. Starting in 1950, Scarboro High School was established at Scarboro Elementary School to offer classes for African-American students. It operated until Oak Ridge High School was desegregated in the fall of 1955.

Photo by Ed Westcott courtesy of U.S. Dept. of Energy

South Texas Coastal Bend Area & Corpus Christi, Texas: “The Texas Coastal Cities of Corpus Christi, Aransas Pass, Port Aransas, Kingsville, and Beeville within Nueces & Kleberg counties played a significant role in the World War II effort on the home front. The Naval Air Station of Corpus Christi, proclaimed as the ‘University of the Air’ by its first commanding officer Capt. Alva Bernhard, had a main station and six auxiliary stations in the Coastal Bend. At the time of completion, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi was the largest naval training facility in the world. Commissioned on March 12, 1941, the naval air station graduated over 35,000 student pilots during World War II … The Coastal Bend area played a profound role in civil defense preparedness for the U.S. During the war, 20,000 civilians who enlisted with the National Youth Administration for civil defense jobs were employed at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.”

Bedford County, Virginia: “Twenty-three men from Bedford — the Bedford Boys — lost their lives in the D-Day assault on Omaha Beach, the largest loss per capita of any town in the United States. In all 137 Bedford men gave their lives during World War II, more casualties proportionally than any other American community. “From local families feeding American serviceman to manufacturing facilities producing vital military products to the troop trains that frequently passed through Bedford, World War II indelibly shaped the community,” says the citation. “On June 6, 2001, the City of Bedford was designated by the United States Congress as the home of the National D-Day Memorial. The Memorial is the only place in the world that individually lists the names of all Allied personnel who died on June 6, 1944, during the invasion of Normandy.”

Tri-Cities, Washington: At the Manhattan Project's 600+ square mile Hanford Site, the Army Corps of Engineers and the DuPont Corporation built massive plutonium production facilities along the Columbia River. “This enormous production site forever transformed not only Hanford but also the surrounding Tri-Cities of Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco. In early 1942 approximately 1,500 residents of Hanford, White Bluffs, and the village of Richland, were informed that their communities had been acquired by the U.S. government under the War Powers Act … Workers built three nuclear reactors along the Columbia River – each the size of a small city; three enormous chemical processing facilities, up to 1,000 feet long, that were nicknamed the ‘Queen Marys’ of the desert; and a large industrial complex that produced more than 1 million pieces of uranium fuel for the reactors … At the peak of construction activity in late 1944, nearly 50,000 workers lived in worker housing that had been laid over the old Hanford townsite.”

With tens of thousands of young people working in Oak Ridge, it wasn’t long before the first generation of native “Oak Ridgers” was born.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Dept. of Energy

Manitowoc, Wisconsin: Located in northeastern Wisconsin along the shores of Lake Michigan, “the city's manufacturing base produced hundreds of items used in the war effort, most notably twenty-eight submarines, for the U.S. Navy. The Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company, headed by Charles West, petitioned the Navy to build destroyers but was asked instead to build submarines - the most sophisticated technological platforms at the time. Due to the availability of skilled craftsmen in the area the company was able to produce a total of twenty-eight Gato and Balao Class submarines between 1941-1945.”

Casper and Natrona County, Wyoming: “Casper Army Air Base (CAAB) is one of only four World War II installations constructed in Wyoming. The 211th Army Air Force Base Unit, B-17 and B-24 bomber groups, trained for overseas assignment in Europe and the Pacific … Between 16,000 and 18,000 personnel were trained in Casper from 1942 to 1945. Casper Army Air Base was a small city comparable in size to many Wyoming communities at the time. Over four hundred buildings were built, and more than 1,500 Casper residents participated in developing utility lines, roads and runways in Spring 1942. The base grew to almost a third of the Casper population, which was almost 15,000 people … After its March 7,1945 closing, the Wyoming Air National Guard used the base. It is now the Natrona County International Airport, which houses the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Museum in the historic Enlisted Men’s Service Club building.”

For those with a connection to one of the 20 states or various U.S. territories that so far have NOT had a community designated as an American World War II Heritage City: The 2024 nomination period is open until May 31. “Any local government jurisdiction of any type that's recognized by a U.S. state or territory is eligible to be considered for designation as an American World War II Heritage City,” says the National Park Service. “These include, but aren't limited to, counties, parishes, municipalities, cities, townships, boroughs, towns, and villages. In addition, as several of the above illustrate, the program accepts joint jurisdiction nominations as long as the jurisdictions share a contiguous border or overlap geographically.

Thousands showed up in 2016 for a Rosie Rally at Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California.

Photo by Luther Bailey courtesy of NPS