In December of 1941, Mississippi was in the midst of an economic crisis. The state’s agriculture-based economy had been hit hard by the Great Depression and there was no end in sight to the distress. But the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor turned Mississippians’ attention from economic duress and awakened their sense of duty.
The events of December 7, 1941, not only ignited Mississippi’s patriotism but also spurred the state to economic rebirth. Mississippi sent thousands of soldiers to battle during World War II, but many who did not go off to fight stayed home to work in new factories created to support the war effort. Military installations, munitions plants, and even Prisoner of War camps were built in Mississippi to help sustain the growth of the military, supply the armed forces, and house war prisoners. Construction, operation, and maintenance of these facilities created thousands of jobs.
The lives of Mississippians changed dramatically because of World War II, whether they went to fight in faraway places or stayed in Mississippi to support the war from home. Join Mississippi Public Broadcasting on December 7, 2009, to learn about the contributions that Mississippians made to World War II, both on the home front and the battlefront.