Chrysler Remembers the Arsenal of Democracy
In the beginning of World War II, before the U.S. had even joined combat, President Franklin Roosevelt issued a call to American auto manufacturers: do your civic duty, and help supply our allies in Europe.
The speech, issued 75 years ago on December 29, spurred Chrysler to open the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant in Warren, MI.
Though the site was owned by the government, Chrysler’s people ran it, using engineering expertise to quickly figure out ways to mass produce everything from Sherman tanks, to anti-aircraft guns.
When the U.S. did join the war, many Chrysler employees shipped out, opening many positions which women stepped in to. At first, these new female workers were relegated to office positions, but as more and more men were drafted, women ran the assembly lines.
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