During 1950s, the United States was preparing to stockpile the raw materials it needed for Americans to survive a war. Arizona had many raw materials to offer, but agriculture was faced with a quandary: what if the thousands of Mexican Braceros that worked on Arizona farms needed to return to their home country? Another concern was what would happen to Arizona’s economy if tourists in California needed to evacuate that state. Many believed that if the tourists became stranded in Arizona, large-scale disruption would result.
Read About It
- Report from George B. Owen on the evacuation problem for the state of Arizona, December 27, 1951
- Copy of a letter from George B. Owen, October 1, 1952
- Proposed plan for servicing possible Voluntary Repatriation of Mexican Nationals, by Arizona Civil Defense Agency, October 1952
- Letter from George W. Malone to Governor Pyle, September 18, 1953
- Letter from R. I. C. Manning to Governor Pyle, November 4, 1953
- Summary of Arizona Production of Strategic Minerals, 1953 ca.
- Critical Target Areas - Department of Defense Abridged Key Facilities List Arizona, August 1954
- What resources did AZ have to stockpile? What industries would have been affected if a nuclear war broke out?
- What historical Arizona event may have been repeated if the Braceros had needed to return to Mexico?
- Who created the documents linked above? How were they preparing for a cold war? Whose perspective is not present in the documents above?
- Would Arizona's economy have survived if Arizona had beenswamped with tourists from California? What if all the Braceros had left? Why do you think it would or would not have?