In this post I am jumping decades. My aunt Vicky flew in early thirties. This post discusses the story of Rosie the Riveter an iconic name in the period of World War 11.
She represented the women who helped the war effort so the men could go and fight. Unfortunately, after the war the women went back to the kitchen. For a time it was women like Rosie that made women feel that they were just as good as the men. Each one knew that their efforts were important.
Author, Emily Yellin wrote a book entitled Our Mothers War: At Home and at the Front During World War 11.(Simon & Schuster 2004) The singing group, “The Four Vagabonds” recorded a song about Rosie. “All day long whether rain or shine/She’s part of the assembly line/She’s making history, working for victory/Rosie the Riveter.
It wasn’t until 1943 that the well-known illustrator Norman Rockwell put Rosie on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. This picture showed Rosie as a beautiful woman shown wearing a red bandanna. The words on the picture said “I Can Do It.” This picture exists today on shirts, and posters that many people remember. “I Can Do It” became a well-known slogan of women all over the United States.
Norman Rockwell’s model for Rosie was a young telephone operator named, Mary Doyle Keefe even though this girl had no experience in riveting. A neighbor of Mary, Norman Rockwell suggested Mary should pose because she was so pretty. Mrs. Keefe received $10 her efforts.
Another Rosie was Rose Will Monroe. She also worked as a riveter building B-24 bombers. The song about Rosie the Riveter was popular at time so Ms. Monroe was asked to appear in a promotional movie about Rosie.
The press found the story of the Rosie was great for new readership. We now know that there were many Rosies. It is to them that the fighting men had the courage to live through the horrors of World War 11. The men went on to be as author Tom Brokaw called the men “The Greatest Generation”.
Next time you see the iconic poster of Rosie the Riveter, you will know that there were many Rosies. They all made us think about Rosie the Riveter who helped men so far away.
This piece of history is so interesting to me and so many others. I am glad that I could present the story of Rosie the Riveter.
I want to give credit to my brother who is a docent and a researcher at The Museum Of Flight in Seattle. A question came up from a writer who asked who was Rosie the Riveter.