“ARE YOU DOING ALL YOU CAN?” “We can do it!” During the Second World War, Americans at home were reminded to do their part by distributing propaganda posters that emphasized rapprochement for the national good. The industry also did its part thanks to the laws of war which gave priority to military production. Apparently overnight, the car factories produced war planes. Lipstick manufacturers have instead made bomb cases. Even nylon, the new synthetic fabric that covered the legs of women at the start of the war, was recruited for military applications.
Thanks to Defense Production Act of 1950, a law rooted in the mobilization of all of society during World War II, the United States still has the power to stimulate the industry in a national emergency.
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Defense Production Act Takes Root in WWII
The country was anything but ready for a major conflict in 1941. Because of the Great Depression and a national reluctance to get involved in a conflict abroad, the United States was unprepared. But with the attack on Pearl Harbor and the coming to war of the United States, the nation had to contend with its lack of preparation.
The country’s industrial sector was still in shock from the economic crisis and the owners were not happy with the idea of investing in defense production. “Many American commodity producers were reluctant to expand their facilities, and many manufacturers reluctantly converted peacetime product assembly lines into essential weaponry,” writes historian Barton J. Bernstein.