Rosie the Riveter . . . - The Missourian: Columns

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Rosie the Riveter . . .

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Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 1:49 pm

America has organizations for just about anything one can imagine. But a mailing came across this desk about a group we never heard of that is national in scope and historic in its nature. It is the American Rosie the Riveter Association.

The younger generation probably never heard of Rosie the Riveter. But anybody who was around during World War II heard of Rosie and the Greatest Generation of Women. Rosie was a symbol of the women who entered the work force during that war since the men were away fighting for our freedom. Women did the work of men during that era of 1940-45.

After the war women never left the work force. They entered it in all phases of work, from the highly educated jobs to the ones that did not require much in the way of skills. Women leaving their homes to work was one of the great social changes that ever occurred in the history of the United States, and in other countries also. The era of stay at home moms pretty much ended during and after World War II. What effects that had on our society can be argued pro and con ad infinitum.

The American Rosie the Riveter Association is trying to locate women in this area who worked on the home front in World War II. Women worked as riveters, welders, electricians, inspectors in war plants, sewing clothing and parachutes for the military, ordinance workers, rolling bandages, making shoes and boots, running printing presses, linotype operators, clerical and many other types of work, both on a pay or volunteer basis. The association wants to hear from these workers to place their stories in the organization’s archives.

What happened on the home front during World War II has never been completely documented in book form as far as we know.

The Rosie the Riveter Association is a patriotic/nonprofit organization whose purpose is to recognize and preserve the history and legacy of working women during World War II. The organization was founded in 1998 by Dr. Frances Carter, Birmingham, Ala., and now has more than 4,400 members nationwide. These women who made history during World War II may call toll free, 1-888-557-6743, or email americanrosietheriveter2@yahoo.com, or by mail at P.O. Box 188, Kimberly, AL 35091 to make contact with the organization. The association’s website is www.rosietheriveter.net.

Most of the women in the organization are in their late 80s or early 90s. Membership is open on different levels: Rosie (who worked for pay in a man’s job); Rosie Volunteer (any woman who worked as a volunteer during World War II); Rosebud (female descendant of a Rosie or Rosie Volunteer); Auxiliary Member, Rivet (male descendant or spouse of a Rosie, Rosie Volunteer or Rosebud); and several other levels.

Who was Rosie the Riveter? Don McCombs and Fred L. Worth in their book “World War II, 4,139 Strange and Fascinating Facts” gave this answer:

“World War II character created to inspire the women working in the factories of the U.S. Supposedly she was based on the aircraft worker Rosina B. Bonavita, who, with a coworker, riveted 3,345 rivets on the wing of a Grumman Avenger in six hours. Rosie was portrayed in the 1944 movie ‘Rosie the Riveter’ by Jane Frazee.”

/opinion/columns

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