Warren Mayor James Fouts has announced that the Detroit Arsenal of Democracy Museum will be located in the City of Warren. Mayor Fouts is happy to announce that the final approval was given by the Warren City Council at its February 28 meeting.
A timeline that was proposed by Museum officials recommends construction starting in September.
“This is a high honor for our city and most appropriate because the Tank Arsenal located in our city was the heart of the Arsenal of Democracy during World War II,” said Mayor James Fouts in a statement, whose favorite U.S. President is Harry S. Truman, whose heroic decisions brought an end to World War II in 1945.
The construction, maintenance and the administration for the Detroit Arsenal of Democracy Museum will be financed through a fundraising campaign from corporations such as Ford, Fiat Chrysler, GM and regional defense contractors.
The Big Three automakers all gained acclaim for their production efforts in times of peace, and for the breadth of their contributions in times of war.
Chrysler became known for tanks, while Ford focused on airplanes and the newly-designed four-wheel drive “Jeeps.” Ford’s Willow Run plant produced 300,317 military aircraft during World War II, including the B-24 bomber famously known as “the Liberator.” General Motors manufactured light, medium and heavy tanks, tank destroyers, armored cars, amphibious vehicles, aircraft engines and propellers. Artillery shells were produced by Oldsmobile, a division of General Motors.
Over the course of the war, the automobile industry manufactured $29 billion in war goods. It provided 12.5 billion rounds of small arms ammunition, 245 million shells, and nearly six million guns. “It is no wonder Detroit became known as the Arsenal of Democracy.”, said Mayor James Fouts in a statement.
The vision for the new Arsenal of Democracy Museum is a place showcasing the rich history of contributions to national defense made by Michigan’s industry and veterans.
The multi-functional Arsenal of Democracy Museum will include a welcome center, a special events hall, a hands-on learning area and museum space featuring artifacts, vehicles, equipment and exhibits showcasing the contributions made by Michigan’s industry.
The museum, previously located at 22960 W. Industrial Drive in St. Clair Shores, closed in May 2016 after two years at that location. Plans for a new 25,000-square-foot facility include expanded displays of military vehicles and artifacts; historical programs that celebrate contributions to national defense and security made by Michigan’s industry and residents; technical training programs and initiatives designed to inspire self-reliance and teach hands-on skills; an extensive oral-history project dedicated to preserving the experiences of local veterans and defense workers; and continued support for special events throughout the region that pay tribute to veterans of the U.S. armed forces.
The learning center will provide hands on experience with military vehicle restoration and maintenance. The learning center will be instructed by experienced military mechanics, historians and preservation experts. Defense contractors will use the space for product demonstrations, conferences and client relations.
The Museum staff has compiled a collection of more than three dozen interviews with local World War II veterans. The staff currently has more than 60 veterans who served in World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam and modern conflicts in a database awaiting recorded interviews.
Museum officials estimate over 24,000 will visit the facility the first year it opens.
“Our city’s goal is to market this Museum throughout Michigan and the Midwest,” says Mayor Fouts. “We feel it will be a tourist attraction and draw people to visit and appreciate our city.”, the Mayor added.