Today 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