Like early rushes to gold and land, America's space program produced a massive quest for opportunity and frontier development, this time along the frontier of space. By actively promoting and financing this new space frontier, the U. S. government continued a demographic shift begun during the defense industry build-up of the Second World War. California provided the best example of what could be called the second "gold rush" of defense-related jobs that attracted thousands of migrants to a warm climate and booming economy. Over $100 billion federal dollars poured into the state, where one in three workers held defense jobs.1 Like California, Florida and much of the South experienced a similar rush when focus shifted from the world war to the Cold War, a war waged in part from space.
"Space Rush: Local Impact of Federal Aerospace Programs on Brevard and Surrounding Counties,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 87:
2, Article 9.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol87/iss2/9