Like many industrial cities that boomed with war production, Peoria was concerned that a postwar recession might take hold. Walter G. Gardner, sales manager for the Keystone Steel and Wire company, reported in The Rotarian that Peoria’s big businesses thought they would be able to maintain 29,000 employees in peacetime employment. This would be a slight drop from the height of war production, but still 7,000 more jobs than when the US had entered the war. Already, in 1943, Peorians could tell the city would be a very different place after the war, especially as returning veterans expected a new kind of life.

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