Professor Stephen Ward talks about the release of Detroit's 1950 census data with Detroit Free Press.

"In 1950, the country was recovering from World War II and the Great Depression. Due to the booming auto industry, Detroit was seen as crucial to the nation's economy. 

'Detroit at the time was a majority white city and it was the fourth largest city in the country," said Stephen Ward, a historian at the University of Michigan. "And because of the auto industry, it was seen as really important for the nation's economy. ... People often call Detroit 'the arsenal of democracy' because a lot of the auto factories were converted to war production, so they stopped making cars and started making tanks and all types of things for the war.'"