When the pressure is on and the odds are stacked against us, the mark we make in those critical-path moments often reveals the true nature of our character. Do we rise to the occasion? Do we deliver? The hallmark of every hero is…they do. In desperate times, throughout history, we as a people have demonstrated that heroic resiliency. During World War II, communities across America—communities like Garland, Texas, with its strong tie to the manufacturing industry—stepped up to the plate to take on home front responsibilities and literally transform the United States into becoming the industrial powerhouse we needed to be to combat enemy forces and support the Allies with great military might. This surge in production was unlike anything communities had ever experienced; it brought jobs and opportunities to bring America out of the Great Depression and rise victorious over tyranny.

We can draw many parallels to the WWII era and the present times, but one thing is certain: Garland is no stranger to surmounting obstacles. In fact, several manufacturing plants that built and assembled military weapons and equipment called Garland and surrounding areas home. Today entrepreneurship and creativity thrive, especially in numerous locally owned eateries, breweries, and small businesses. Small business owners and operators make their mark on Garland every day, with the freedom to do it their way, on their terms, in a town that truly fosters support, inclusivity, and growth. It is fitting then that the downtown area would honor the local community (and communities across the nation) with a special historic exhibit that hearkens back to victorious, collectively achieved results that turned the tide in the Second World War.

Chrysler’s Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant, Detroit, Michigan,1940s. Image courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection, Detroit Public Library

From June 6 through August 15, take a deep dive into the history of those home front efforts and achievements, as Garland hosts Manufacturing Victory: The Arsenal of Democracy.

Manufacturing Victory invites you to experience and learn about the remarkable home front efforts that took place across the nation, producing tanks, planes, ships, and guns—efforts that required quick turnaround and immeasurable dedication. The exhibit shines a light on a time in our history when industrial prowess, productivity, and patriotism surged throughout the country, the likes of which no one had seen before. That growth brought out the best in our country; it brought us out of the Great Depression, helped us forge the tools necessary to make us a mighty military force, support the Allies abroad, and open new doors of opportunity and social change.

The Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant required extensive open floor space. Such space allowed tracks to installed right on the factory floor. Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection, Detroit Public Library

Held at the William E. Dollar Municipal Building, the exhibit boasts 1,500 sq. ft. of compelling artifacts, photographs, oral histories, and interactive audio. Unique video components immerse visitors in the story of America’s mighty industrial war engine.

The exhibit debuted at The National WWII Museum in 2014 before embarking on a national tour to expand access and educational opportunities across the country.

Garland will be the only Texas city to host the exhibit in 2022. Don’t miss your chance to experience it. For exhibit hours, see below:

Exhibit Hours

Monday – Tuesday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Wednesday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Closed on Sundays

For more information on the exhibit, visit https://www.nationalww2museum.org

The history of America’s World War II efforts echoes into the present every day in Garland, where a diverse mixture of people, skills, and experience foster entrepreneurialism and creativity. The thriving and growing metropolitan city offers residents and businesses an excellent quality of life in an affordable and business-friendly climate.

The momentum that grew from American ingenuity, strength, and hope during WWII has continued to propel Garland forward in today’s industries worldwide. From microchips operating in outer space to drilling solutions functioning in the deepest holes on Earth, products made in Garland continue to make a mark on global technology.

Boeing plants built a total of 6,981 B-17s in various models, and another 5,745 were built under a nationwide collaborative effort by Douglas and Lockheed (Vega). Only a few B-17s survive today; most were scrapped at the end of the war.

After the exhibit, please consider doing your part to support local businesses as they continue to bounce back. Make your mark on the city and visit our local restaurants and shops.

For more information on community events and happenings, view the event calendar at VisitGarlandTx.com.