Honolulu Chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association
Rosie represents all the patriotic women who supported the war efforts by joining the workforce in WWII. She embodies the “We Can Do It!” spirit, and paved the way for women's diversity, inclusion, quality, equality, unity and freedoms.
Rosie the Riveter, media icon associated with female defense workers during World War II. Since the 1940s Rosie the Riveter has stood as a symbol for women in the workforce and for women’s independence.
The first image now considered to be Rosie the Riveter was created by the American artist J. Howard Miller in 1942, but it was titled “We Can Do It!” and had no association with anyone named Rosie. It is believed that this initial drawing was part of the Westinghouse Electric Corporation’s wartime production campaign to recruit female workers. Miller’s drawing portrayed a woman in a red bandana with her bent arm flexed, rolling up her shirtsleeves.
Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter received mass distribution on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on Memorial Day, May 29, 1943. Rockwell’s illustration features a brawny woman taking her lunch break with a rivet gun on her lap, beneath her a copy of Hitler’s manifesto, Mein Kampf and a lunch pail labeled “Rosie”. Rockwell based the pose to match Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling painting of the prophet Isaiah. Rockwell's model was his neighbor, Mary Keefe of Vermont, a 19 year old telephone operator. To embody the American can do spirit, Ms. Keefe was considerably bulked up as she was a petite 110 pounds.
Norman Rockwell hired a professional model for the Post cover Liberty Girl (Rosie to the Rescue), honoring the mythical embodiment of all the new roles that now belonged to the American woman during wartime. As a symbol of the ability of Americans to mobilize and transform themselves during the war effort, Rockwell might have chosen a more idealized or classic portrayal, just as he based Rosie the Riveter on a classic Michelangelo painting, but he chose to paint her as a girl-next-door, accentuating her authenticity.
The real-life women who inspired the iconic Rosie the Riveter image worked in factories between 1939 to 1945 to arm WWII soldiers with aircraft, ships and tanks. They recall the challenges they faced taking on work done exclusively by men while some of them were still only teens. NBC’s Ann Curry reports 7:30 mins
In February 1945, warehouses in Birmingham, England, were filled with millions of pieces of mail intended for members of the U.S. military, U.S. Government personnel, and Red Cross workers serving in the European Theater. An African-American Women’s Army corps group named the “Six Triple Eight” took on the task of distributing this mail. This is their story.
The documentary ‘Invisible Warriors,’ holds up the overlooked role that Black women played in the World War II effort … and how that changed their lives. Credit: 'Victory' by Regina E. Cooke.
Having helped vanquish the Nazis during World War II, Mae Krier, 94, of Levittown, Bucks County, went to work fighting COVID-19, proving there’s not a scourge that the overachievers of the Greatest Generation won’t take on.
Hear a podcast of Mae as she details her life growing up in North Dakota during the pain of the Great Depression, then after the war, visiting Seattle where she learned a very important job for Boeing.
The day after the attack on Pearl harbor, the Women's Air Raid Defense (WARD) group was established and the search for the right women began. A list of twenty bright, reliable women to be the nucleus of a secretive Army job was compiled. The women were needed to relieve men ordered to forward combat areas, and the work was shroud in secrecy, and glamour. These women were eventually called "Shuffleboard Pilots." The WARD was the only civilian organization employed by the military for the purpose to replace men in active duty. It was disbanded after the end of WWII. (Source: Wikipedia)
Elinor Otto was an American factory worker who was an original Rosie the Riveter. She built airplanes for over a half-century, and spent many years working for Boeing before being laid off at age 95. She was known as the "Last Serving Rosie the Riveter".
and featured on The Ellen Show