"The war has caused us to actually jump into our future."
These words of California Governor Earl Warren could not have been more accurate. By war's end, California had 140 military bases that spurred government spending in the defense industry during World War II, and which continued throughout the Cold War. The vast federal defense spending prompted continuous growth in other industries and manufacturing jobs. Southern California became the nation's leading producer of aircraft and second only to Detroit in automobile production, while the Bay Area became the leader in technological developments.
California's burgeoning economy necessitated the extensive development of roads, freeways, and bridges. In the post-war years there was a desperate need for housing for the prodigious number of workers who continued to migrate to the state. Runaway growth in suburban tract housing, consumer goods, and high rise office space forcibly pushed California toward its future role as the fifth largest economy in the world.