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Nashville - Music City USA

Nashville 1940-1970 - Music City USA


Courtesy Library of Congress Archives
The manufacturing industry in Nashville was booming when the United States entered WW2 and continued to do so by building the military equipment and artillery needed for the war efforts. After the war, in 1945, heavy industry saw a decline meanwhile a housing shortage began in Nashville and many of the large homes were converted into apartments and rooming houses. Banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions immerged to lead in the building up of the city's wealth.

In the 1950's, Nashville saw the Capitol Hill Redevelopment, The L & C Tower go up, the opening of Belmont College.

In 1954 Segregation was declared illegal and Nashville began a school desegregation plan in the following year. In 1960, the Nashville Sit-In Movement leads to widespread desegregation of public facilities.

Country Music Industry became a major industry in Nashville during this time with record labels, studios, and musicians all flocking to Nashville, the term "Music City U.S.A." was coined during a 1950 WSM broadcast and the Country Music Association was founded in 1958.

Nashville saw the formation of the Metropolitan Government in the 1960's, along with liquor by the drink, and the passing of the civil rights act. Hospitals and medical companies began forming and created yet another great industry for Nashville.

In transportation during this time, Nashville saw the old electric streetcars replaced by buses in the 1940's, Tennessee's first interstate highway, connecting Nashville to Memphis in 1962.

Disasters were limited to a few tornados, storms and floods although there was a substantial Ice storm in 1951 worth noting as it froze the Cumberland River.

© Jan Duke 2005

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