1922 - 1938
The Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, intended as a means to prevent another World War, halted most large-scale Navy ship production in the U.S....and the NOP ground to a halt. The thousands of jobs it had promised to the Kanawha Valley never appeared.
For seventeen years it languished in relative inactivity. The Great Depression wracked the nation's economy in the 1930s, and the Plant was able to provide only a little relief from the area's joblessness through projects for the WPA (Works Progress Administration) and NYA (National Youth Administration).
But Franklin D. Roosevelt, now President of the United States, refused to sell the Plant he had helped build--he saw future need for the facility as trouble brewed in Europe and the Pacific...
South Charleston Mayor L.H. Oakes was crucial to the development of the city. As mayor from 1930-1946, he saw the town's inhabitants through the Great Depression and World War II, and was responsible for bringing in investment and public works from a number of New Deal agencies. History of South Charleston.