Redefining Tulsa: Challenge, Courage & Change in the 1940s

Redefining Tulsa: Challenge, Courage, and Change in the 1940s

March 2, 2010 – January 29, 2011

As a new decade dawned in Tulsa on January 1, 1940, life was changing at a rapid pace. A war was expanding across the globe and there was talk of America entering the fray. The economy, still reeling from the Depression, was unpredictable. And the community was changing and continuing to experience adversity, both in the form of natural disasters and social conflicts.

Although Tulsa continued to reap the rewards of being the “Oil Capital of the World,” the industry had suffered a decline during the Depression and other states became the primary producers of American oil. Many of Tulsa’s prominent business leaders retired and others relocated. Those who remained began to focus on diversifying their businesses and the War provided the opportunity they needed.