Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rosie the Riveter and our Brave Women...

"Pearl Harbor Attacked! U.S. Enters World War II! 80,000 Women Find Work In Defense Plants!"

Recently, Harrison took me to see the Rosie the Riveter memorial in Richmond. I am a big Rosie the Riveter fan! Rosie the Riveter was a media propaganda creation devised to represent and encourage those women who filled in during World War II for our men fighting over seas. Women were a giant part in winning the war. They braved the discrimination by men and went against the odds to take over the men's job while at war. They faced many obstacles and overcame them. Across the nation women worked in defense industries and support services including Shipyards, foundries, steel mills, warehouses, lumber mills, offices, hospitals and daycare centers.

The memorial is located in Richmond where a shipyard bustled during the war. We were not only able to see the Rosie Memorial, but we were able to see remnants of Richmond's ship yard where many women worked. We also were able to see the cargo ship SS Red oak victory ship. Loaded with cargo, this ship departed San Fransisco for Pearl Harbor on January 10, 1945. During the war, she served as an ammunition ship for various ships in the South Pacific. She is now laid to rest in the old Richmond Shipyards. They do tours, but unfortunately, we got there 1/2 after they closed. We are hoping to make another trip for the tour.

I wanted to share with you some quotes from real life Rosie the Riveter women on working during the war.
"When I got my first paycheck it was $16.50 a week. I was so happy. I stuck it on my wall in the bedroom, then in the kitchen. I didn't want to cash it. I thought I was so rich."

"It was hard to convince your lead man that you could do the work. When he assigned jobs, I used to follow him around and say, "I could do that, I could do that." He got sick of me and said, "Okay do it!" And of course, I could. I could do it."

"It was in all the newspapers-they needed women workers in factories. We all got raises because my boss was afraid we'd quit and get defense jobs."

"Let me tell you this. I was 23. I never had a job. My husband was an electrician. I told him, "I'm going to work, too." He said,"No you're not." That same afternoon I went to the hiring hall."

"You must tell your children, putting modesty aside, that without us, without women, there would have been no spring in 1945."

A blog that I will be working on for the future will be in honor of our WASPS of World War II: Women Airforce Service Pilots. Stay Tuned!
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