Detroit in the 1940s

The early part of the 20th century saw the city of Detroit, Michigan, rise to prominence on the huge growth of the auto industry and related manufacturers. The 1940s were boom years of development, but the decade was full of upheaval and change, as factories re-tooled to build war machines, and women started taking on men's roles in the workplace, as men shipped overseas to fight in World War II. The need for workers brought an influx of African-Americans to Detroit, who met stiff resistance from whites who refused to welcome them into their neighborhoods or work beside them on an assembly line. A race riot took place over three days in 1943, leaving 34 dead and hundreds injured. After World War II ended, the demand for workers dried up, and Detroit started plotting its postwar course, an era of big automobiles and bigger highways to accommodate them.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Yuichi Yamazaki / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Hazy Harbor, Hot Horse, Rocket Billionaire

    Preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, flood damage in Germany, Eid al-Adha prayers in Senegal, a crowded nightclub in London, a windy day in Montevideo, and much more

  • NASA

    Apollo’s First Lunar Rover, Driven 50 Years Ago

    Images of the development, training, and deployment of the first vehicle driven by humans on the surface of another world

  • Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP / Getty

    Scenes From the 2021 Tour de France

    Images from the 108th edition of the famous cycling race

  • Wolfgang Rattay / Reuters

    Photos: Catastrophic Flooding Across Western Europe

    Days of historic levels of rainfall have led to numerous deadly flood events across Western Europe.