Nominate an American World War II Heritage City

* The 2023 nomination period for the American World War II Heritage City program closed on Sept. 1st. *

1942. Office of Office of War Information (OWI) Poster No. 52

Office of War Information Poster No. 52. Library of Congress.

States or Territories currently without designated American World War II Heritage Cities.

  • Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas
  • California, Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho, Illinois, Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri
  • Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands
  • Oklahoma, Oregon
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina, South Dakota
  • Utah, U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Vermont, Virginia
  • West Virginia

Visit our World War II Heritage Cities page to see the list of designated American World War II Heritage Cites.

Can a state or territory have more than one designated American World War II Heritage City?

No. Section 9007 (a) of the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019 allows only one designation per U.S. state or territory.

During the nomination period, any jurisdictions in a state or a territory that meet the criteria can be nominated. A state or territory may have multiple nominations; however, only one will be chosen for designation as an American World War II Heritage City. Once a designation has been made, the state or territory is removed from the eligibility list.

Who Can Apply

Any local government jurisdiction located in a U.S. state or territory that doesn't already have an American World War II Heritage City. See the list above for currently eligible states and territories.

Note: An entire state or territory cannot apply for designation. Only a local government jurisdiction within a currently eligible state or territory may be designated.

Local Government Jurisdiction

A local government jurisdiction ("jurisdiction") is a locally managed populated area with a defined political border. It falls under a state or territory government. Jurisdictions include, but aren't limited to, counties, parishes, municipalities, cities, townships, boroughs, towns, and villages.

While the designation is World War II Heritage "City”, any jurisdiction in an eligible state or territory that meets the criteria can be nominated for designation.

Examples: Bedford, Virginia (town) home of the National D-Day Memorial; Denver, Colorado (city) which had multiple military sites, defense manufacturing companies, and USO clubs; Aliceville, Alabama (city) site of a large WWII POW camp; Honolulu County, Hawaii (county) where the initial attack on the US took place.

See current designations at World War II Heritage Cities.

Aviation cadets in training at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas. 1942
Aviation cadets in training. Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.

Photo date: 1942. Library of Congress. LC-USW36-391 [P&P]

Nominating Two or More Jurisdictions Together

Two or more jurisdictions can apply together in a joint application, as long as:

  1. The jurisdictions are contiguous and/or overlap. Note: Joint applications with either discontiguous jurisdictions or ones that do not overlap will not be accepted.
  2. The nomination is endorsed by each jurisdiction's highest locally elected official.

Example: Four independent cities in Virginia -Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach - all meet multiple criteria for designation and share contiguous borders. The cities could be nominated individually or as one joint application.

Example using contiguous counties: Polk and Benton Counties in Oregon. The counties share a contiguous border and were together the home of Camp Adair. The Camp was a large military training facility that had a great impact on surrounding communities and the home front.

See current joint application designations at World War II Heritage Cities.

Criteria for Designation

Applicants must meet both criterion 1 and 2 in order to be considered for designation.

  1. Contributions by a city and its environs to the World War II home-front war effort, such as contributions related to: *

    • Adaptations to wartime survival
    • Civil defense preparedness
    • Defense manufacturing, such as ships, aircraft, uniforms, and equipment
    • Production of foodstuffs and consumer items for Armed Forces and home consumption
    • Volunteer participation
    • War bond drives
    • Personnel serving in the Armed Forces, their achievements, and facilities for their rest and recreation, or
    • The presence of Armed Forces camps, bases, airfields, harbors, repair facilities, and other installations within or in its environs.

  2. Achievements by a city and its environs to preserve the heritage and legacy of the city’s contributions to the war effort and to preserve World War II history, such as contibutions related to: *

    • Establishment of memorials to area men who lost their lives in service
    • Establishment of museums, parks, and markers
    • Organizing groups of veterans and home-front workers and their recognition
    • Presentation of cultural events such as dances, plays, and lectures
    • The identification, preservation, restoration, and interpretation of World War II-related structures, facilities and sites
    • Public relations outreach through the print and electronic media, and books, and
    • Recognition and ceremonies remembering wartime event anniversaries

See the American World War II Home Front Heritage City Criteria Essays to learn more about the subcategories under criterions 1 and 2.

* Does my jurisdiction have to meet each of the subcategories under the criteria?


The subcategories are not a list of requirements. Jurisdictions are required to have activities under both criterion 1 and 2, but they don't have to meet each subcategory. The subcategories are intended to be examples of specific home front and commemoration topics. These topics can be used to help describe jurisdictions' qualifications for designation as American World War II Heritage Cities.

There are no requirements for jurisdictions to have specific numbers of activities or subcategories. However, when nominating jurisdictions it's best to briefly describe activities under as many subcategories as possible that are significant to the location. This can help support jurisdictions' qualifications for designation.

Activities that don't fall under a Subcategory
Jurisdictions can also include WWII home front history and commemoration activities in their nominations that aren't specifically listed as subcategories, but that still apply under criterions 1 and 2.

looking through a door into an underground bomb shelter with vaulted ceiling, wooden floor, two wooden benches facing each other, and two wooden beds side by side. One light on a post illuminates the room.
Bomb shelter under personal residence, Detroit, MI. 1942

Wayne State University, Walter P. Reuther Library

How to Apply

The process begins when:

The highest locally elected official in a jurisdiction nominates their community.

A nomination must include:

  • A cover letter addressed to the National Park Service Director and signed by the jurisdiction's highest locally elected official.

  • A brief descriptions of how the jurisdiction meets criterions 1 and 2 in the Criteria for Designation (see above).

A nomination can also include other optional materials such as:
No more than five (5) optional items in total, please.

  • Photographs and historic images of commemorative events and activities saved in either pdf, jpeg/jpg, gif, or tiff digital file format.
  • images of interpretive signage; digital brochures or fliers; etc.
  • Existing program materials that elaborate on how the jurisdiction meets the Criteria for Designation or supports the nomination
  • Endorsements from the appropriate congressional delegation
  • Other letters of support


The National Park Service (NPS) may use application materials for non-commercial display purposes such as posting on the NPS website (, NPS social media forums, publication in hardcopy or digital program brochures, and other American World War II Heritage City Program informational materials in accordance with U.S. copyright Fair Use laws and regulations.

Financial Requirements

There are no financial requirements either when a jurisdiction is applying for designation or after a jurisdiction is designated as a World War II Heritage City.

Where to Send Nominations

Nominations should be emailed to

Review Process

Once the nomination period has ended, the National Park Service (NPS) will acknowledge receipt of complete nominations and review them within three (3) months. Recommendations are then submitted to the Director of the NPS.

Contact Information

For more information email or call 202-354-6991.

Last updated: September 18, 2023


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