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Date: January 24, 2011
Contact: Anne Strong
Telephone: (301) 279-9697

History Associates Researches Content for Documentary on Arizona’s Economic Transformation in the Post WWII Era

History Associates, one of the oldest and largest historical research firms in the United States, is pleased to have worked with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) on the content for their new documentary film, Arizona’s Great Economic Transformation, which premiered on December 14 at the Orpheum Theater in Phoenix, Arizona.

GPEC approached History Associates in mid-2010 to investigate the history of economic development and industrial recruitment in the state of Arizona specifically because the firm had expertise in this area.  The goal was to provide policy analysts and decision-makers with historical context on economic development in the state.  Working in close collaboration with GPEC, History Associates documented the historic and contemporary role of government and business leaders in shaping a competitive business environment.

Senior historian Dr. Jason H. Gart managed the project for History Associates along with historian Halley Fehner.  Together, they prepared a series of case studies that demonstrated how a coordinated economic development effort among government, business, and civic groups during the 1940s and 1950s created a high-tech manufacturing base in the state that lasted nearly fifty years.  History Associates also researched and located historical images and footage to include in the documentary and fact-checked the final script.

The resulting movie illustrates how Arizona emerged from its first major economic crisis when defense manufacturing in the state departed after WWII-thanks to the combined efforts of Arizona Senators Carl Hayden and Barry Goldwater, Governor Paul Fannin, and numerous business and community leaders.

Dr. Gart received his Ph.D. in modern United States and Western history from Arizona State University.  His dissertation examined the history of the electronics and aerospace industries in Arizona.  He is also an expert on World War II and Cold War-era military procurement and has experience researching an array of subjects, including business and institutional history, environmental history, and the history of science and technology.  Ms. Fehner has diverse research experience, including the study of corporate and environmental history of war-era defense contractors.

About History Associates
For more than thirty years the historians and archivists at History Associates have demonstrated that history is valuable in the market as well as the marketplace of ideas. They provide professional corporate histories, exhibit content, interpretive planning, historical research, archival services, and collections management services to clients throughout the United States and around the world. History Associates strives to be The Best Company in History®, serving corporate, government, legal, and nonprofit clients from its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, call (301) 279-9697 or visit

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