NPS designates Richmond as ‘American WWII Heritage City’

NPS designates Richmond as 'American WWII Heritage City'
Rosie the Riveter Visitors Center, 1414 Harbour Way S #3000.

The National Park Service (NPS) named Richmond as among 11 new cities to be designated as “American World War II Heritage Cities.” 

The World War II Heritage Cities program was established by the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019. The program honors contributions of towns, cities and counties where citizens stepped into the workforce to support America’s war effort during WWII.

Only one American World War II Heritage City can be designated in each state or territory, according to the NPS. 

The Richmond Kaiser Shipyards built over 740 vessels for the war effort, “a feat not equaled anywhere else in the world, before or since.” Thousands of men and women worked to support the effort, a workforce that would grow Richmond’s population from 20,000 to more than 100,000 in three years. The waterfront site is now home to the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park, which honors that rich history.

Like Richmond, many industrial centers across the U.S. became boom towns when patriotic individuals and families relocated for good-paying jobs that supported the war effort.

Communities joining Richmond as newly designated American WWII Heritage Cities are Foley, Ala.; Tempe, Ari.; Wilmington, Del.; Waterloo, IA; Baltimore County, MD; Johnson County and Warrensburg, MO (joint community nomination); Hastings, Neb.; Boulder City and Henderson, NV (joint community nomination); Yonkers, NY; and Bedford County, VA. 

The new designations follow the inaugural designation of Wilmington, NC, in September 2020, according to the NPS.