PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — This Saturday, Heinz History Center will open an exhibit called “We can do it! Pittsburgh’s impact on World War II.”
Even the iconic Rosie the Riveter, symbolizing women in the work force, was designed by a Pittsburgh artist for Westinghouse.
Curator Leslie Przybylek shares the bittersweet history of the first Jeep, built for the army in 1940 by the Bantam Car company of Butler.
“Though Bantam’s design was accepted,” she says, “The U.S. government realized that the company was too small to really mass produce the vehicle in the amount that was needed.” Larger companies in Detroit wound up with the contract.
During the war, Pittsburgh was the steelmaking center of the world.
“By the end of the war, I think the statistic was 95 tons of steel,” the curator says. “More than all the Axis powers combined. That alone would have been a huge accomplishment.”
Allied forces crossed the English Channel on D-Day aboard Landing Ship Tanks, or LSTs, made in Ambridge and Dravosburg.
“The true organizer of victory,” that’s what Winston Churchill called Gen. George C. Marshall of Uniontown, the Army Chief of Staff.
After the war, he was the architect of what became known as the “Marshall Plan,” putting our former enemies back on their feet.
During the Saturday opening, veterans and their families will be admitted free.