World War II on the Texas Home Front Transcript

In 1939, a multi-national war raged in Europe and China, but the United States had resisted direct involvement. As the situation worsened, it became apparent the day was coming that the U.S. would be drawn in. That day was December 7, 1941, when the Navy fleet at Pear Harbor was attacked by the Japanese Naval air forces, awakening the so-called "sleeping giant."

The U.S. joined other Allied forces - Britain, France, Soviet Union, and China - to war against the Axis powers - Germany, Japan, and Italy - on two fronts: Europe and the Pacific.

World War II was undoubtedly a transformative time for the U.S. For Texas, it was a period of profound growth and change.

By the time the Allied victory was proclaimed in 1945, the Lone Star State had sacrificed more than 22,000 Texan men and women.

The contributions made at the home front - as everyone pulled together - altered the status of women and minorities and changed the face of the state forever.

Before the war, Texas was perceived by broad expanses of land - cowboys, oil, and agriculture. By war's end, the state had attained new powers as a military and industrial dynamo with growth in its thriving urban centers.

Over the course of the war, Texas hosted 175 major military installations, including 65 Army airfields, 35 Army forts and camps, and seven Navy stations and bases. Also, nearly 70 base and branch prisoner of war camps and five enemy alien internment camps were established in Texas. 

While most people think about World War II as an event that took place overseas in Europe and the Pacific, this tour will focus on the immense impact of World War II and its transformative effect on the Lone Star State.