Development: A Healthy Kick in the Pants

George Washington established the Springfield (Mass.) Armory in 1794 as the first small-arms-manufacturing arsenal for his army. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow immortalized the place 50 years later in his poem "The Arsenal at Springfield," where "from floor to ceiling, like a huge organ, rise the burnished arms." After several generations,

Defense Secretary Robert McNamara was not half so impressed. Along with nearly a thousand other large and small military facilities, Springfield was ordered closed as an economy move; its weapons development and pilot production were to be turned over to other, armories...

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