March 21, 2019 is on track to be declared National Rosie the Riveter Day! This will be the third year in a row that Congress has honored the women workers of WWII with their own special day. The purpose of the day, which will take place during Women’s History Month, is to acknowledge the important role women played on the home front during World War II.
[Keep scrolling to read the text of the actual congressional bill.. it’s very inspirational!)
A National Rosie the Riveter day was the brainchild of WWII workers Phyllis Gould, 96, a former shipyard welder from California and Mae Krier, 92, a former B-17 bomber riveter from Pennsylvania.
Krier and Gould have been have been lobbying government officials since 2014 to recognize the contributions of the millions of women who were crucial to the war effort during WWII by holding down jobs previously held by men.
So far, their efforts have resulted in the declaration of the first-ever National Rosie the Riveter Day in 2017, followed by a renewal of the declaration in 2018, and this year’s resolution is expected to pass. But currently,according to Krier, “National Rosie the Riveter Day is declared on a year-by-year basis,” and Krier, Gould, and their supporters are lobbying Congress for a permanent national day.
Women in the American workforce jumped from 27 percent to nearly 37 percent between 1940 and 1945, the year World War II ended. These women worked across the country to fill various jobs that were often previously held by the men and boys who were called to fight in the armed forces. All women who worked production jobs on the Home Front during WWII were collectively nicknamed “Rosie the Riveter.” Since then, according to the American Rosie the Riveter Association, the definition has expanded to include women who fulfilled other patriotic duties the home Front including Red Cross volunteers, women who organized scrap drives, cadet nurses, civil defense block organizers, and USO entertainers. The aviation industry saw the largest amount of female workers with 65 percent of its workforce made up of “Rosies” in 1943.
Krier, who has traveled across the country in recent years to share her story and those of the other ‘gals’, says, “No one ever gave us credit for what we did, so that is why I have fought so hard to get our National Rosie Day. I am so proud of what the women did for our country. The men came home to parades and flying flags, and Rosie came home with a pink slip. ”
“No recognition for what the millions of us women did to help win the war. Our Veterans will tell you that they couldn’t have won WW11 with out us. Had it not been for the women in World War II, we might be speaking German or Japanese today. Hitler thought American women were soft, and we showed him we weren’t. Our country owes us this honor and they should not hesitate to give us a National Rosie the Riveter Day… and the Congressional Gold Medal! At the National Memorial in Washington they have two mentions of Kilroy and none of Rosie. I want a statue of Rosie in there and I won’t stop working on getting these things for Rosie. There aren’t many of us still well enough to go out and fight for our recognition.”
Krier also reminds that the most important reason to recognize and remember Rosie the Riveter is that she represents something larger and more lasting then the war that produced her:
“It is so important because we all worked together to win the war, regardless of race creed or color. It wasn’t my job or your job, it was our job and WE DID IT. And even today, “we need to work together.” It’s as simple as that.
Here It Is! National Rosie the Riveter Day 2019 Senate Resolution S.RES.114
In true bipartisan spirit, this year’s bill was introduced on March 14, 2019 and sponsored by Sen. Bob casey (D-PA) and cosponsored by Sen. Jean Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 14, 2019
Mr. Casey (for himself, Mrs. Shaheen, Mrs. Capito, Mr. Coons, and Mr. Isakson) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to
Expressing support for the designation of March 21, 2019, as “National Rosie the Riveter Day”.
•Whereas National Rosie the Riveter Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the more than 18,000,000 women in the civilian labor force during World War II;
•Whereas the people of the United States have chosen to honor women workers who contributed from the home front during World War II;
•Whereas those women left their homes to work or volunteer full-time in factories, farms, shipyards, airplane factories, banks, and other institutions in support of the Armed Forces overseas;
•Whereas those women worked with the United Service Organizations and the American Red Cross, drove trucks, riveted airplane parts, collected critical materials, rolled bandages, and served on rationing boards;
•Whereas it is fitting and proper to recognize and preserve the history and legacy of working women, including volunteer women, during World War II to promote cooperation and fellowship among those women and their descendants;
•Whereas those women and their descendants wish to further the advancement of patriotic ideas, excellence in the workplace, and loyalty to the United States; and
•Whereas March 21, 2019, during Women’s History Month, is an appropriate day to designate as “National Rosie the Riveter Day”: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) supports the designation of March 21, 2019, as “National Rosie the Riveter Day”; and
(2) acknowledges the important role played by women during World War II.