Geography 417
California for Educators

 

World War II  and the late 20th Century

 

Standards

•     Discuss the effects of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and World War II on California.

Some web links:

•      A couple from the Butte County/California Dept. of Education collaborative effort.

•      http://www.history.ctaponline.org/center/hsscm/index.cfm?Page_Key=1564

•      http://www.history.ctaponline.org/center/hsscm/index.cfm?Page_Key=1290

 

•      One  from the California Military Museum

•      http://www.militarymuseum.org/HistoryWWII.html

 

•      From the San Francisco Museum – regarding internment.

•      http://www.sfmuseum.org/war/evactxt.html includes many primary documents.

 

 

World War II in California

•     World War II is probably the biggest event in California’s history outside of the Gold Rush.

•     The state begins the war as largely an agricultural province somewhat outside of the mainstream of the American economy and cultural life.

•     By the end of the war, the foundation was solidly laid, putting the state on its course toward becoming what it is today.

World War II

•      The war begins in 1937 in China and not long afterward in Europe.

•      Americans were largely isolationist and suffering through the Depression.

•      December 7th, 1941…a day that will live in Infamy.

•      Total War.

•      California was defended by only 16 modern warplanes, and many feared an attack.

•      Many others were in full panic mode, fearing the same battle group that launched against Hawaii would steam to California …technology?

The Battle of Los Angeles

•      Feb 24-25, 1942

•      Unidentified flying objects touched off a blackout and mass reportings of incoming aircraft.

•      1,440 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition unleashed against non-existant foes.

•      Crazed and inaccurate reporting.

•      May have been one to five planes, but have never been identified, perhaps a weather balloon.

•      The only damage was self-inflicted.

•      Exposed the defenselessness of the West Coast.

Invasion Hysteria (fig)

Searchlights and AA Fire (fig)

The real “attack” on California

•     The Japanese did have some plans to attack California, but never were able to carry out much of a plan.

•     There were minor bombings and submarine launched attacks, but nothing of much consequence.

•     The most serious potential were the balloon bombers that dropped some bombs mostly on Northern California, but the news of their activity was largely censored, especially since the main purpose was to create fear.

Los Angeles and the War

•     L.A. grew faster than any other major metropolitan area in the U.S.

•     By 1943 the population of metropolitan L.A. was larger than 37 states

•     The head start given to the LA region by war industries fueled growth in subsequent decades until about 1990.

•     San Fernando Valley a major benefactor.

Other So Cal War Towns

•       Burbank: Home to the Lockheed Aircraft Company,

•       Chino: Location of Cal Aero Academy, a private flying academy contracted to provide pilots for the Army Air Forces.

•       Costa Mesa: Costa Mesa didn't exist during World War II. The city incorporated in 1953 and in 1955 annexed the former Santa Ana Army Air Base, which now comprises a major part of the town.

•       Downey: Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft plant

•       El Segundo: North American Aviation plant that built P-51 fighters, A-36 bombers and B-25 Bombers.

•       Fontana: Kaiser Steel Co., financed and built by the wartime government agency known as the Defense Plant Corporation (DPC). One of only two steel plants in the West

•       Glendale: pilots trained

•       Hawthorne: Northrop Aircraft Co built B-17 bombers.

•       Huntington Beach: oil wells

•       Inglewood: North American Aviation plant

•       Irvine: El Toro Marine Corps Air Station

•       Long Beach and San Pedro: the center of military activity in the area.

•       Ontario: Ontario Army Air Field

•       Pasadena McCormack General Hospital

•       Pomona: Pomona Ordnance Depot and a prisoner of war camp

•       Riverside: home of two major Army installations, March Field and Camp Haan.

•       San Bernardino: Morrow Aircraft Corp and the Western Stove Co. which made incendiary bombs and San Bernardino Army Air Field.

•       Santa Monica: Douglas Aircraft Company.

•       Southgate: General Motors plant that built M-5 Light Tanks

•       Tustin: Just east of Santa Ana, Tustin was the home of Naval Air Station, Santa Ana
Van Nuys:
Birmingham General Hospital and Van Nuys Army Air Field

Map of Military Bases, WWII

Hollywood and the War

•      Had largely been confined to making a handful of enlistment films for the Army prior to the war.

•      Hastily arranged “Motion Picture Unit” was formed when war began.

•      A specific skills unit that allowed people from the industry to join the army as a film specialist.

•      Many recruiting, training and combat films created by folks who had been working in Hollywood.

•      A full mock up of Japan created by folks skilled in model building, used to film realistic simulations of bombing runs.

•      Various units included a handful of “stars” including Ronald Reagan

•      Hollywood took an active roll in the war propaganda as well….including cartoon figures.

Poster Art – Total War

•     http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/powers_of_persuasion/powers_of_persuasion_intro.html

 

Bugs Bunny

Bugs and Daffy

Filipinos in WWII

•      By 1941 there were more than 100,000 Filipinos in the US, the Philippines were a US colony, overrun by Japanese forces.

•      Ethnic American military units were common, including a Filipino unit.

•      Thousands volunteered in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, despite having suffered years of ill-treatment in the US…but thanks to the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934 were “aliens” and could not enlist.

•      In early 1942 the law was changed…but not all…

•      Anti-miscegenation laws prohibitted Filipinos (and other Asians) from marrying whites, so some married Japanese women, some of whom were sent with their children to concentration camps, while dads when to fight for the US.

•      Hawaiian agricultural workers were forbade to join the Army, and were kept on Hawaii to provide cheap labor on the sugar plantations.

•      Those over 38 years were also encouraged to return to civilian work force.

•      Before departing for combat, many Filipino soliders wanted to get married, but if they had white fiancees, they had to take a bus to New Mexico… “the honeymoon express”.

•      May 1942 Gallup Poll showed support for the naturalization of Filipinos, the Filipino Naturalization Bill was passed and many thousands did become citizens, some wished instead to remain Philippine citizens.

Filipino Unit Insignia

•     figure

Service

•      The 1st Filipino Battalion was formed on March 4, 1942 and activated in April 1 at Camp San Luis Obispo, California, was an all-volunteer unit.

•      Other Filipinos served in other “white” units, often in Europe.  Benefits?

•      Some officers were whites, but some were Filipinos, often those who had gone East to obtain professional education, because this was denied them on the West Coast.

•      Lt. Col. Leon Punsalang, a West Point graduate, command of the 1st Battalion marking the first time in that an Asian American commanded white troops in combat.

•      By early 1945, this force was fighting in the Philippines, and very successfully until the war ended.

•      Many took “war brides” in the Philippines, where they were heroes, and returned to the US.

Japanese Internment

•      Much of the wartime panic was directed toward the activities of Japanese and Japanese Americans, who were rumored to be doing all sorts of evil things.

•      Feb. 1942, FDR signs Executive Order 9066, essentially declaring much of the West a “military zone”.

•      April, 1942 the Western Defense Commander, ordered the Japanese on the West Coast into concentration camps.

•      Were about ½ million potential internees.

•      Of the 120,000 ethnic Japanese eventually evacuated to the relocation camps, 80,000 came from the L.A. area.

•      62% were Nisei (Americans) others were Issei.

•      Some Germans and Italians also taken away.

Poster (fig)

•     http://ipr.ues.gseis.ucla.edu/images/Evacuation_Poster.pdf

 

Terminal Island:

•      Martial law declared here on December 8,1941.

•      Major U.S. Naval base, major oil installations and a sizeable community of ethnic Japanese fishermen.

•      Potential for sabotage

•      No evidence ever found suggested that Japanese here were spies or disloyal.

•      On February 1, 1942, the government did surprise sweep of all ethnically Japanese men and they were shipped off to an internment camp in Nebraska.

•      Later reunited with women and children when more ‘permanent’ camps were built.

 

Internment Center (fig)

•      Photo by Lange (San Bruno, CA)

Manzanar Camp

Manzanar (fig) Ansel Adams

Nisei Soldiers

•      After the initial panic died down, the government called for Japanese-Americans to volunteer for the war.

•      The U.S. Army called for 1,500 volunteers from Hawaii and 3,000 from the Mainland.

•      An overwhelming 10,000 men from Hawaii came forth.

•      Most were in internment camps in the West, so they could not volunteer, still there were over 1000, many of whom were inducted.

•      Fought with impressive distinction in Italy, France, North Africa and had enormous casualty rates.

•      442nd and rescue of the “lost battalion”

•      Others served in the Pacific Theater, largely as in intelligence and language roles.

•      All while many of their families were interred.

Nisei Marching in France -1944

Reaction

•      Few in power objected.  Some legitimacy based on intelligence that some Japanese could have been disloyal to the US.

•      Several supreme court cases found that it was constitutional to deny the rights of entire groups of people during war time, if disloyal persons among the group made it impossible to sort out who was “the enemy”

•      Split decision in the courts, with acerbic dissensions.

•      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korematsu_v._United_States

•      Wasn’t until the Carter administration did some pathetic form of justice begin to redress the ills,  in the 1990s survivors got some cash payments and an official apology from the government.

•      Most never recovered that which they lost in 1942.

•      Impressed by the dignity and pride with which the internees conducted themselves.

Total War

•     Keep in mind that this was total war, so most every component of society was effected, but still less in the US, than others.

•     Rationing, for everyone…egalitarianism.

•     Conversion of plants to wartime production.

•     Farmers exempt from draft, some schools closed, POW’s used…also feeding England.

•     Labor strife at a minimum, despite the extra work, poor conditions and the billions made by industry that was not widely shared….conditions dramatically improve following the war.

Industrialization

•      WWII ignited California’s industrial economy and many thousands of people moved to California to work in these industries, many never returning to their homes.

•      12 million in the Armed Forces, many released or kept on reserve because production was more important.

•      Mexicans, who were encouraged (forced) to leave just years earlier, where encouraged to return.

•      12% of all U.S. Government war contracts were made to California.

•      17% of the war materials made in California.

•      Oil production doubled, synthetic rubber industry created, agricultural output nearly tripled.

•      More military bases than any other state.

•      LA grew faster than any other city in the country during the War.

Shipbuilding

•     Employment rose from 4,000 to 260,000 in the war years.

•     Richmond alone went from 20,000 to 100,000 population in those years.

•     Kaiser steel founded in Fontana.

Rosie the Riveter

•      What changes after the war?

United We Win (poster)

Civil Rights

•     The women’s rights and minority rights could hardly turn back at this point, though many instances of injustice were common.

•     FDR enacted non-discrimination policies during the war for government jobs.

•     CIO followed suit, though painfully in some areas.

•     Many non-Japanese Asians were treated much better during and following the war, especially the Chinese.

•     Latinos also improved their lot during the war.

 

Baby Boom

•     There was a sharp increase in births in the early years of the war and then immediately following it, peaking in 1950.

Housing Boom

•     GI Bill

•     Housing shortages intense following the war, but finally caught up in the early 1950s

20th Century Industrial Development

•     Describe the development and locations of new industries since the nineteenth century, such as the aerospace industry, electronics industry, large-scale commercial agriculture and irrigation projects, the oil and automobile industries, communications and defense industries, and important trade links with the Pacific Basin.

Post-War Economics

•     The impact of WWII on California’s economy can hardly be overstated.

•     Two million new residents

•     Economy transformed from an agricultural-entertainment base to manufacturing and  high tech.

•     Massive influx of population.

California Economy

•     $1.55 trillion (as of 2005) California economy is larger than all but the top 7 national economies in the world

•     13% of the US GDP.

•     Major industries include:

–   agriculture,

–   entertainment

–   light manufacturing,

–   tourism.

Map of State/National GDP

Tourism

•     $82.5 billion in 2004

•     Many advantages, especially when controlled internally.

•     Basic income, much of it spent in LA county and San Francisco.

Aerospace

•      California was a early entrant into the aerospace industry, (Douglas, Lockheed, Martin).

•      What advantages?

•      20,000 workers in 1939 – 280,000 in 1944.

•      FDR called for an astounding 50,000 planes per year in 1941, but in 1943 100,000 were built…many in California.

•      Lockheed 37 in 1937, but 18,000 during the war.

•      Became the second largest industry in the state, though its share fell dramatically at the end of the cold war.

•      Effects were significant in the SFV and other parts of Southern California.

•      Great ‘multiplier effect’…why?

Silicon Valley

•      Home of California’s computing industry, generally the San Jose and Bay Area.

•      Why is it here? –

–    Stanford and UC Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz

–    History of Aerospace, military high tech

–    HP founded there in 1939 by Stanford Grads

–    Many semiconductor companies

–    Venture capital available

–    Conglomeration economies

–    Apple computer, XEROX,

•      Lost 250,000 jobs in Northern California alone.

•      Massive income inequality, racial issues, pollution

Silicon Valley-San Jose (fig)

Entertainment Industry

•     Television production is the biggest of this group of industries, followed by movie production.

•     Much movie production has moved out of California in response to high production costs and aggressive competition, especially from Canada.

 

California’s Water System

•     Trace the evolution of California's water system into a network of dams, aqueducts, and reservoirs.

History

•     Geography and weather patterns made California both flood and drought prone.

•     Many 49ers built water control systems.

•     Generally water is carried in concrete lined channels, built on a gentle down grade, and pumped upward at intervals, occasionally over mountains.

•     Multiple Aqueducts in California; federal, state and local.

•     Statewide plans laid in late 1800s and again in 1919.

Projects

•     Central Valley Project, though initially a state project was taken over as a WPA project in 1935.

•     Colorado River Aqueduct also constructed during the Depression, delivers water to Southern California.

Salton Sea

•      Created in 1905 when the Colorado River breached man-made dikes diverting water to the Imperial Valley.

•      Took two years to contain the flooding, several small towns submerged as the ancient sea bed refilled.

•      Largest lake in California

•      Increasing salinity, failed tourism/ development plans.

•      New River that feeds into it may be the most polluted in the US.

•      Best bird watching in the US?

Endangered White Pelican (fig)

Fish Kill (fig)

Touristic Ruins (fig)

Population Density (map)

Ethnic Breakdown

•     2004 Estimate

•     Non-Hispanic White -44.2%

•     Hispanic/Latino of any race -34.9%

•     Asian American -12.0%

•     Black -6.0%

•     Multiethnic -1.9%

•     Native American and Inuit 0.5%

•     Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander -0.3%

African Americans

•     Los Angeles had always had black neighborhoods.

•     Shipbuilding attracted many thousands of blacks from the South during WW2.

 

Latino Majority

•     Higher birth rates and immigration should make people of Latin American descendancy the majority in California by 2010.

•     By 2050, whites will be 1/4th.

•     Birth rates level off to host-society levels in second generation.

Poorest Community in California

•     Tobin, California – Plumas County – $2,584

•     Belden, California – Plumas County – $3,141

•     East Orosi, California – Tulare County – $4,984

•     London, California – Tulare County – $5,632

•     Cantua Creek, California – Fresno County – $5,693

•     Indian Falls, California – Plumas County – $5,936

California’s Public Education System

•     Describe the history and development of California's public education system, including universities and community colleges.

 

•     Berkeley Scientists, including Oppenheimer were key in the construction of the first Atom Bomb.

•     Other universities in the state were key in developing technologies.

•     Many universities were created in the wake of the war, for GI’s and the baby boom generation.

 

20th Century Californians – Cultural

•     Analyze the impact of twentieth-century Californians on the nation's artistic and cultural development, including the rise of the entertainment industry (e.g., Louis B. Meyer, Walt Disney, John Steinbeck, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, John Wayne).

Objectives

•     Students will identify and discuss California’s role in the major events of the early 20th century, including the two World Wars and the Great Depression.

California Standards

•      Describe rapid American immigration, internal migration, settlement, and the growth of towns and cities (e.g., Los Angeles).

•      Discuss the effects of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and World War II on California.

•      Describe the development and locations of new industries since the nineteenth century, such as the aerospace industry, electronics industry, large-scale commercial agriculture and irrigation projects, the oil and automobile industries, communications and defense industries, and important trade links with the Pacific Basin.

•      Trace the evolution of California's water system into a network of dams, aqueducts, and reservoirs.

•      Describe the history and development of California's public education system, including universities and community colleges.

•      Analyze the impact of twentieth-century Californians on the nation's artistic and cultural development, including the rise of the entertainment industry (e.g., Louis B. Meyer, Walt Disney, John Steinbeck, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, John Wayne).

•      http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/hstgrade4.asp