California Studies Association

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2,265 Rosies rocked Richmond

4 Comments

RosieEvent-medToday 2,265 people (yes, men were allowed!) dressed as the iconic “Rosie the Riveter” gathered in the giant Ford Assembly building craneway to beat the current Guinness world record for such an event. More than a gimmick, it was a testament to the impact of the World War II Home Front, and honored the women who participated in the war effort.

During WWII the Ford plant was surrounded by four Kaiser shipyards, which produced 747 ships to help win the war. The social programs that accompanied the war effort – such as efforts to integrate housing, provision of quality child care, acceptance of women in the industrial workforce, opportunities for women and people of color in trade unions, and the Kaiser health plan – were precursors of many subsequent social justice efforts, including the civil rights movement and second wave feminism.

The Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond is the only National Park to cover this important period in national (and California) history. It’s well worth a visit.

-Lincoln Cushing, CSA

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4 thoughts on “2,265 Rosies rocked Richmond

  1. What do you mean… more then a gimmic? The Rosies in Michigan gathered last year in the historic hanger at Willow Run Airport. Where the Bomber Plant still stands. We rallied in support of saving The Bomber Plant that back in its glory days rolled out a bomber plane an hour. The planes that helped win the war. The factory that women came from all over the states to work in while many of their Men where off to war. Just like the women who participated in our record. Our record was not a gimmic. We had to be strict with our outfits from our bandanas to our boots. With a whopping 2,096 women we reclaimed the record. We put the spotlight onto the Bomber Plant the Arsenal of Democracy. We rallied…. all women. We were dressed in dark navy blue. In rain or shine that day… we went through the turn styles. We sang songs and so many women shed tears with feelings of pride. It was an amazing day. Truly I have never felt more pride then I did standing united in that bullpen. As the numbers went up the excitement went up. Along with the women there…. we had a large group of orginal rosies! These women were excited to be there. They remembered working inside those hangers door at the Bomber Plant. They got to tell their stories. What amazing stories they were!
    So congratulations in the record take back. Its pretty amazing to have the support of history and telling its story. But… a gimmic is far from what took place in Michigan.
    Michigan will retake the record and put it at home…you can keep the record for Men and women dressed as Rosie. Michigan will still hold it for Most Women.

    • Our National Park in Richmond celebrates all people that worked on the Homefront. The Kaiser shipyards not only had women working for the first time but also the handicapped, people of color, “little people”, to that end I feel it is appropriate to be inclusive and include all these stories. Just a thought for your consideration. I wish you the best in your attempt to take back the record and the continuation of our friendly rivalry thru the years. In the end what is most important is to honor these Hero’s while they are still with us.

      • There was men who also worked in the bomber plant. Along with little people and people of color. So no difference there for us here.

  2. Sister Resfern- no disrespect meant for those of you at Willow Run, the “gimmick” commentary was about the record-chasing frenzy that sometimes overshadows the serious grassroots work of building and sharing history. The shipyards relied on friendly competition, and even though the Richmond event included men (and, not for the count, more than a few dogs and infants) it was all about the women. A roll call of Rosies present was shared – name, location, age (one was 100) and wartime occupation. Congratulations on your achievement, you – and we- can be proud of this honor.

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