Today the US Department of Labor (DOL) honors the “Rosies”.
The history-making women who riveted, welded, and took on roles as first responders during World War II are collectively known as the “Rosies”. By stepping in to effectively handle jobs previously held by men, the Rosies enabled the production of the planes, ships, tanks, arms and munitions that empowered the frontline war efforts of the United States and the Allied Forces. Just as importantly, the Rosies changed perceptions of women in the workplace forever.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said, “…By inducting the ‘Rosies’ into the U.S. Department of Labor Hall of Honor, we recognize the contributions they made and the changes they inspired.”
According to the announcement made by the DOL, “…between 5 and 7 million women (estimated) held war industry jobs during World War II, increasing the female work force to about 19 million. This permitted American industry to transform to war production rapidly, supplying not just our armed forces, but also the armed forces of the Allied powers.”
There Really Was a First Rosie
The late Rosalind Walter, who passed away in March at the age of 95, is recognized as the first Rosie. She took a job at a Corsair factory in 1942. The famous image of Rosie the Riveter gained nationwide prominence when it appeared as a Norman Rockwell painting on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, followed by the “We Can Do It!” poster commissioned by Westinghouse.
Thanks Rosies for how you changed our lives then… and now.
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