World War II
The outbreak of World War II (1941-1945) had a direct impact on the growth and development of central Arkansas.
The U.S. War Department commissioned the Arkansas Ordnance Plant (AOP) near Jacksonville. The plant opened on June 4, 1941, as an assembly facility for boosters, detonators, fuses and primers. Workers, mainly women, traveled to the plant from Little Rock in bus shuttles provided by Inter-City Transit and the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Many families began moving into the adjacent Sunny Side Housing Project within a year or two. More than twelve thousand people worked at the plant during the height of World War II. The plant closed in 1946. Six thousand acres of land formerly occupied by the plant became the Little Rock Air Force Base on August 1, 1955. The Jacksonville Museum of Military History occupies the ordnance plant's original administrative building.