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A City At War: Chicago During WW II

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tags: documentaries, Chicago, World War 2, Homefront, War Production



This one-hour documentary won the 2018 Chicago International Television Festival Gold Plaque Award for best nonfiction program, and is currently airing on more than 130 public television stations across the country.

This film is a co-production with WTTW Chicago and was underwritten exclusively by the Chicago Marine Heritage Society and its Chairman, Capt. Dave Truitt.

Just prior to America’s involvement in World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) called on the country to become “an arsenal of democracy”, to start producing war materiel to help defeat the Axis powers. Through firsthand accounts, de-classified films, period images, A CITY AT WAR: CHICAGO  explores how the Windy City answered that call, and how a friendship between FDR and Chicago mayor Ed Kelly, a “Big City Boss”, helped to set everything in motion. The  film reveals how the Chicagoland was transformed into a well-oiled production machine; with every racial, ethnic and religious group and every man, woman and child mobilizing to support the war effort.

Highlights include rare footage of FDR’s 1937 “Quarantine Speech,” delivered in Chicago to warn of the coming war; Nobel Prize winning physicist Enrico Fermi creating the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction at the University of Chicago leading to the development o f t h e  atomic bomb; the formation of PK Wrigley’s All American Girls Baseball League, the capture of a Nazi spy from Chicago, the mob’s exploitation of servicemen using prostitution and gambling, and interviews with Japanese and German-American internment and POW camp survivors.

Read entire article at Reel Chicago

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