The Big Chill: The Cold War Fuels Business and Anxiety | KCET
The Big Chill: The Cold War Fuels Business and Anxiety
This episode traces how The Cold War and Pentagon dollars fund the explosive growth of modern Los Angeles. The end of World War II meant massive unemployment for the millions of workers in Southern California who built the aircraft that helped win the war, but a series of world events changed all that, creating a permanent wartime economy. First, the Soviets successfully tested an atomic bomb. Next, Mao Tse-Tung created a second Communist empire with his People’s Republic of China. Finally, the Korean War marked the first communism/capitalism military showdown as the U.S. committed troops and armaments to defend South Korea from Soviet and Chinese-supported North Korea. Within a decade, the Cold War workforce in Southern California climbed to more than a quarter-million; by 1953, there were 25,000 aerospace engineers working in Los Angeles. Pentagon dollars fueled innovation with the assembly of first-generation jet fighters, bombers and Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) This episode also explores the personal cost to the family of test pilot Milburn Apt through the memories and reflections of his daughter, Sharman Apt Russell. Walt Disney introduced the peaceful exploration of the cosmos with his “Man in Space” specials, that became among the highest-rated TV programs of the ‘50s. But his chief on-camera spokesperson was Wernher Von Braun, a former Nazi who designed V-2 rockets Hitler that were launched on Great Britain. He embodied the dichotomy between progress for peace and progress for war.
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Aviation takes flight in early Los Angeles, becoming an industry of dreamers, risk takers and entrepreneurs. The region is America’s “arsenal of democracy” during World War II, as two million workers build 300,000 aircrafts.
The Cold War and Pentagon dollars fuels the explosive growth of modern Los Angeles and creates the military-industrial-complex.
This episode traces how The Cold War and Pentagon dollars fund the explosive growth of modern Los Angeles and create the military-industrial-complex.
The end of the Cold War brings massive layoffs but tech billionaires choose Southern California to launch their space companies. Though committed to the “democratization” of space, SpaceX and Virgin Orbit include the Pentagon as a major customer.
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