I Grew Up in War Housing: The History of the Defense Housing Projects in East Alton, Illinois: 1941–

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At the start of WWII, two government defense housing projects were built in East Alton, Illinois. These projects became known as the “defense area,” where author Phillip Walkington lived from birth through high school. Although intimately familiar with his surroundings, he never perceived their unique place in history as the unintended results of a plan to offset issues created by World War II.  In I Grew Up in War Housing, a never-before-documented piece of history comes to light. War workers came to these defense areas in a steady stream seeking employment, and though jobs were to be had, there was nowhere for the influx of workers to call home. Multiple tiers of government worked together to build the defense housing projects under the Lanham Act, which provided federal funds to defense-impacted communities where the population had soared and local facilities were overwhelmed. Written to praise the war workers who in-migrated throughout America to support the war effort—and for his father, who was one of those workers—Walkington’s I Grew Up in War Housing is a firsthand account of an exceptional place created during an unparalleled time in history.
ISBN: 9781641120050
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: Illinois
Images: 93
Pages: 208
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Phil Walkington grew up in East Alton, Illinois and lived in the defense area for eighteen years (1943-1961). He has lived in Albuquerque, NM since 1965, and retired from Sandia National Laboratories in 2005 as a distinguished technologist. His awareness concerning the lack of information resulted in his writing this history of the defense housing project that was his childhood home and old neighborhood.
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