The Second Gold Rush: Oakland and the East Bay in World War II

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University of California Press, Feb 8, 1994 - History - 328 pages
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More than any event in the twentieth century, World War II marked the coming of age of America's West Coast cities. Almost overnight, new war industries prompted the mass urban migration and development that would trigger lasting social, cultural, and political changes. For the San Francisco Bay Area, argues Marilynn Johnson, the changes brought by World War II were as dramatic as those brought by the gold rush a century earlier.

Focusing on Oakland, Richmond, and other East Bay shipyard boomtowns, Johnson chronicles the defense buildup, labor migration from the South and Midwest, housing issues, and social and racial conflicts that pitted newcomers against longtime Bay Area residents. She follows this story into the postwar era, when struggles over employment, housing, and civil rights shaped the urban political landscape for the 1950s and beyond. She also traces the cultural legacy of war migration and shows how Southern religion and music became an integral part of Bay Area culture.

Johnson's sources are wide-ranging and include shipyard records, labor histories, police reports, and interviews. Her findings place the war's human drama at center stage and effectively recreate the texture of daily life in workplace, home, and community. Enriched by the photographs of Dorothea Lange and others, The Second Gold Rush makes an important contribution to twentieth-century urban studies as well as to California history.

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Prelude to War
The Second Gold Rush
Wartime Shipyards and the Transformation of Labor
The Making of Migrant Ghettos
Migrant Families and Communities
Boomtowns and the Control of Urban Space
Mobilizing Politics
Boomtown Blues

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Page 2 - probably never before in the history of the United States has there been internal population movement of such magnitude as in the past 7 eventful years.
Page 293 - US Bureau of the Census. Current Population Reports. Population Characteristics, Series P-20, No. 14, "Internal Migration in the United States: April, 1940 to April, 1947.
Page 293 - Civilian migration in the United States: December, 1941, to March, 1945.
Page 292 - US Bureau of the Census, Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900: Population, Pt. 1, California (Washington, DC: GPO, 1904); Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910, Population, vol. 2, Reports by States, California (Washington, DC: GPO, 1913); Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920: Population, vol. 3, Composition and Characteristics of the Population by States, California (Washington, DC: GPO, 1922); Beth Bagwell, Oakland: The Story of a City (Novato, Calif.: Presidio Press, 1982),...
Page 29 - When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States entered the war, and mobilization of the economy for hostilities subsequently ended the Great Depression.

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About the author (1994)

Marilynn S. Johnson is Associate Professor of History at Boston College.

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