group of people gathered outside Maryvale

From the Vault: Arizona Memories from the ’50s

Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Americans have always seen the West as a land of opportunity — the place people went to reinvent themselves. In the 1950s, the Valley of the Sun was transformed by young veterans, entrepreneurs and families looking for a new lifestyle. The economic boom that began with WWII launched a decade of change, and growth continues until this day. This is the story of the people who launched the boom years and turned the desert into the Valley of their dreams.

During WWII, Arizona was deemed the perfect spot for the military to send soldiers to train. They built new air bases and camps for the wave of incoming soldiers. Fear of another coastal invasion also saw the creation of defense bases in the area. Because of the increase in jobs, the war brought the first economic boom to the Valley. 

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