Finding Rosies in West Virginia

rosiesatwork

I’m always on the lookout for Rosies, and this article comes from West Virginia, featuring  Dot May (read below).

For women working on the home front during World War II it was more about getting a good job than it was about being patriotic… we were coming out of the Great Depression, and the men had gone to war.  Most of the women who went to work for the “war effort” had been working all along.  The war just offered opportunities for better jobs.

Shepherdstown’s own ‘Rosie’ remembers wartime effort

August 1, 2016
By Emily Daniels (edaniels@journal-news.netJournal News

SHEPHERDSTOWN – Dorothy “Dot” May, 94, says back in the days of World War II, helping with the war effort on the homefront was just something that many people did without talking too much about it. Now, she recognizes the fact that she served as a “Rosie the Riveter” and is proud to have contributed to the cause.

Although “Rosie” has become a national icon and is a term and image with which many people are familiar, May is one of the remaining women whom the image actually represents.  CONTINUE READING–>

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Rosie the Riveter at Glendale Arizona Pub

The only time I’ve ever found myself wanting to be in Glendale Arizona (not offense to the fine folks of Arizona, but it’s a bit too hot for me during most of the summer) is NOW …  well June 16-18 or June 23-24 to catch a performance of “After Hours at Rosie’s Pub” at the Brelby Theater Company.
11942216_10101188231491638_1988549270284709667_o-689x1024 Written by the Brelby Company Women (Shelby Maticic, Carolyn McBurney, Megan O’Connor, Mia Passarella, Melody Chrispen, Jessie Tully & April Rideout), “After Hours at Rosie’s Pub” features Rosie as a bar keep.  From the theater website:

After the lights have dimmed, and the early crowd has left the scene, Rosie’s Pub is frequented by a medley of female revolutionaries from throughout history. As they take the stage for an unconventional open mic night, they tell their stories through song, poetry, and narratives. Their individual histories weave together, and allow them to pose questions about today’s world. Its history like you’ve never heard it before, and these women have a lot to say.

Performance Dates: June 16-18, 23-24 @ 7:30 pm, June 18-19, 25 @ 2 pm

It sounds like a not only a fun show, but a good intro to a lot of historical woman.

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And there’s even more Rosies!

Rosie the Riveters at the Willow Run Bomber Plant

Rosie the Riveters at the Willow Run Bomber Plant, Ypsilanti Michigan 1942

October 24, 201-5-2,096 women and girls came together dressed as Rosie the Riveters to raise awareness for the Save the Willow Run Bomber Plant campaign in Ypsilanti Michigan.  They came from sixteen states, some from Canada, and there were even 44 “real Rosies” from the WWII era.  AND they blew the lid off the record set in September  at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California.

About the Save the Willow Run Bomber Plant Campaign

The goal of the campaign “….is to mobilize the resources needed to preserve and renovate roughly 144,000 square feet of the 5 million square foot former Willow Run Bomber Plant, to eventually become the new home of the Yankee Air Museum.

The Yankee Air Museum, based on the eastern edge of Willow Run Airport since 1981, houses aviation- and history-related exhibits and programs, and preserves and maintains a small fleet of WWII-era flyable aircraft, including the majestic Yankee Lady B-17. Yankee has a collection of static aircraft on display, and hosts the popular Thunder Over Michigan Air Show every August.”

Read more about the campaign at the website–>

The Willow Run Bomber Plant began production in 1941, first to build component parts, then–with the help of many women (the original Rosie the Riveters) they manufactured the B-24 Liberator.

Note:  the above photo comes from the Library of Congress’ collection ( Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USF34-9058-C])

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Rosie the Riveter Record

Here’s one place to find a whole lotta Rosies!

d9b208614500b6f80739755fd29fad52_LCongratulations to the folks at the Rosie the Riveter Trust for smashing the Guinness Record for most people dressed up as Rosie the Riveter in one place!  Over 1,000 Rosies gathered at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California.

The Rosie the Riveter Trust’s mission is “….to help preserve the historic resources of the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, implement its programs, and teach the story of the Home Front. The Trust partners with government, business, labor, academia, and individuals to support: visitor services; research and interpretation of the history of the Home Front; preservation of park sites; and establishment of links to other Home Front sites across the country.”  Check out their website for up-to-date information on events and activities, and if you’re in the Bay Area be sure to stop by.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Just an employee doing her job

b2fdc188eed5f3e9094b3eb726881508Helen Filak was one of the many Rosie the Riveters who worked in factories during World War II. Just out of high school, she worked as a welder at American Bridge in Pittsburgh for $1.20 an hour in 1943.

“We were told to go to dock so-and-so, and that’s where we worked,” she said. “You would sit on the ground there and weld ridge after ridge. You had a certain section you had to do, and I would weld my share.” [Filak said]

Filak hadn’t been aboard a combat ship since the war, and her job ended…  but she had the opportunity to tour the LST 325  World War II-era ship during its visit to  Pittsburgh’s North Shore near the World War II monument and Heinz Field.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/9024342-74/filak-war-build#ixzz3lAoeH6qY

 

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Holy Act of Congress Batman! Equal Pay for Women

batgirlWhen I was giggly six-year-old towhead living in San Diego, I didn’t just love Batgirl, I wanted to BE Batgirl.

My friends and I would watch the Batman t.v. show–already in reruns–after school.  We’d wear make-shift capes made from towels pinned around our necks with clothespins and we’d scramble in and out of the canyons behind our houses or ride our bikes (they were probably Big Wheels or tricycles) through the neighborhood solving imaginary crimes.

Tony Pellegrino was Batman (it should be noted that he is now a police officer) and Timmy, whose last name I don’t remember, was younger and smaller, so he played Robin.

As the only girl, I was Batgirl.

The actor who played Batgirl in that campy television series, Yvonne Craig, passed away yesterday and when I saw a post about it on Facebook, the first thing that came to mind was my memory of those times playing with Tony and Timmy and believing that anything was possible.

Was Batgirl a symbol of female power?  I don’t know–she was certainly captured a lot more often than Batman…  and why wasn’t she named Batwoman?  At age six I didn’t care.  To my child self, Batgirl wore a pretty, shiny purple cape, ran around with a couple of boys fighting crime, and rode her own motorcycle. Batgirl was smart and stronger than most of the other women on television….  she may not have been a superhero in real life, but she did advocate for equal pay for women.  My adult self appreciates that:

 

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42 Years of Title IX : Where are we now?

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

~ Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

When Title IX became law I was only 8 and I though I recall hearing about it, I didn’t really understand it. I heard about a girl who wanted to play baseball, and another who wanted to join the football team, and somehow this was Title IX related. Even now when people think about Title IX they mostly think about how this legislation impacted sports programs, but it’s about more than sports.

By the time I entered junior high school a couple of years later, Title IX meant co-ed gym class (at least that’s why I assumed gym classes became co-ed).  It also meant that the school was required to offer Shop class to girls as well as boys (and offer Home Ec  to boys as well as girls).  Of course in practice that wasn’t the case which I found out when I signed up for Shop; I already knew how to cook.

“All the girls take Home Ec,” my counselor said.

I tried to argue, “But I learned that stuff in Girl Scouts already,” I said.

“You’d be the only girl in the class,” he warned, not knowing that when I was younger I’d been the only girl my age in my neighborhood and I’d scrambled in and out of San Diego canyons chasing imaginary bank robbers, played with Tonka Trucks, and rode my bicycle with a pack of boys all over the neighborhood. Being the only girl would not have been a problem. In fact, it sounded like fun.  Power tools and making things out of wood and metal sounded fun.

But I caved and in 7th grade I learned to make a jello salad, and a wrap-around skirt. Two not-so-usefull skills.

I never learned how to saw or weld or how to tune up my car … though there was a brief time when a 1957 Volkswagen sat in our garage.  My dad bought it for a family project, but instead it collected dust in the garage. (There’s gotta be a metaphor for our family in there somewhere.)

So I don’t know where we are 42 years later.  We’ve made some progress I suppose, but still, there is much progress to be made.  Women may have better access to sports programs in school, but women’s professional sports are still perceived as “less than” and girls don’t sign up for today’s equivalent of Shop class at the same rate as boys.  There is still a wage gap and women AND men are tied to rigid notions of gender roles for the most part.

Maybe we never understand  history as it’s happening to us, but as I explore this project, as I SEARCH FOR ROSIE today I can’t help but wonder what my generation has done with the ball that was handed to us.

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