As a place, the Willow Run Bomber Plant might be considered a war-born anomaly. By the end of 1945, the federal government had scattered such anomalies across the country, with almost 1,000 communities in existence and every state except North Dakota hosting public war housing projects. As an outcome of a federally led process, however, Willow Run was the symbol of the American home front. Participatory planning enabled the federal government to meet the challenge of mobilization for national defense during World War II. Willow Run’s self-contained neighborhood symbolized unity through separation, especially in the case of African Americans who sought to get access to both public and for-profit housing.
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