Rosie the Riveter: Meeting the Original Rosies

Rosie the Riveter
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Have you heard of Rosie the Riveter? In today’s time, Rosie is a very popular costume for women. I have also seen women empowerment campaigns and groups use Rosie the Riveter as a symbol. Rosie is seen as a symbol of “girl power”, promoting great strength for various women awareness topics.

But did you know that Rosie the Riveter was a real person? Make that plural. Rosie was not just one woman; she was an embodiment of women. Many women served as a “Rosie” during WWII. In fact, Rosie the Riveter was a movement which paved the way for many opportunities women have today.

Rosie the Riveter
On October 24, 2015, Michala and I had the amazing opportunity to volunteer at the Rosie the Riveter Guinness World Record event in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Last year, my teen daughter and I had the pleasure of volunteering at the Rosie the Riveter Guinness World Record event in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The event was to gather as many “Rosies” to break a world record of “The Most Rosie the Riveters.” The event was held at the Willow Run Airport– the original plant “Rosies” worked at during WWII.

I have a confession to make. Before we moved to Michigan, I did not know very much about Rosie the Riveter. I knew it was related to WWII and it was also a very popular costume for women. But other than that, I didn’t know it’s origination or how the campaign played a great role in the war efforts.

Who are the Original Rosies?

During WWII, so many men were deployed serving in the war. There was a great need for industrial workers in the United States. So a campaign was created (Rosie the Riveter) to recruit women to work in factories. Most of the women did not have experience in the industrial industry. Yet, they proudly served, and if it wasn’t for them, the U.S. may not have had the help they needed.

It was doubted at first that women could do heavy industrial work, but with the war escalating, manufacturers and the government were desperate for workers. These pioneering “Rosies” proved that women could do a man’s job, and do it well, and paved the way for the workplace diversity we enjoy today.

Quote from Save the Willow Run Bomber Plant & The Yankee Air Museum

Why go to the Rosie the Riveter Event?

I thought it would be an enriching learning experience for Michala (my teen daughter). She could learn first-hand how women from a different time period were strong and worked hard to achieve their life goals. I felt it would be a great experience for Michala to understand how women, like the “Original Rosies”, helped pave the way in the workforce for women today.

We learned valuable information about the female wartime workers and the great service they gave to our country. I felt very honored and humbled to have met the “Original Rosies.”

Rosie the Riveter
A volunteer Tribute Rosie greets the Original Rosie the Riveters at the Yankee Air Museum.
Rosie the Riveter
Original Rosies arrive to the event.

A Heartfelt Experience

As the announcer called out each woman’s name, my eyes filled with tears. I felt very proud of the “Rosies” service during WWII. I also felt great emotion because my husband was only a few months fresh out of the Army. It reminded me of our former life as a military family, my husband’s military deployments, and how much patriotism was valued during our time as an Army family.

Being accustomed to attending many Army events, participating in the Rosie the Riveter event was a unique experience for me. I saw what patriotism looks like from an American civilian perspective. I saw how much people outside of the military love their country and work hard to support America.

Rosie the Riveter
An original Rosie the Riveter waves to the crowd.

Original Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the RIveter
Two original Rosie the Riveters greet each other at the world record event in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Tribute Rosie

I was very honored to have volunteered for the Rosie the Riveter Guinness World Record event. The “Original Rosies” are true American heroes. Attending the event inspired me to become a volunteer Tribute Rosie.

The Tribute Rosies attend various events in Michigan and other U.S. states to help raise awareness about saving the Bomber Plant. So far, I have attended three events and it has always been a great pleasure to connect with other women and educate the general public about the campaign.

Tribute Rosies
I volunteered with my fellow Rosies for the Michigan WWII Legacy Memorial at the Royal Oak Art Fair. (I’m at the far right.)
Tribute Rosies
Tribute Rosies show their support for the “Save the Bomber Plant” campaign at the Livingston County Air Show. (Photo Credit: Jennifer Hamra)

To learn more about the Yankee Air Museum’s campaign to “Save the Bomber Plant”, please visit the Save the Bomber Plant’s official website. It is an amazing campaign!

Rosie the Riveter
Thank you, Rosie, for serving during the war and paving the way for women today!



*Not a sponsored post.
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37 Comment

  1. Very cool! I did not know that Rosie was a real person, I mean now that I say it- its like duh, I should have known. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Such a cool event. I didn’t know any of the original Rosie’s were still around. They’re adorable. The costume is too cute.

  3. Eva says: Reply

    I absolutely love this! Whenever I see that poster I think that I really can do anything. Very cool event too!

  4. Latoya says: Reply

    I never knew the history behind this image. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Wow this is a dope event. I need to seek out more events like this because there is so much history I don’t know

  6. Tia says: Reply

    I never knew the history ! Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Ashlee says: Reply

    So glad to put a name to a character and then find out the true meaning. This is great and it looks like the event was a lot of fun!

  8. Joanna says: Reply

    OMG this is so awesome! It’s always great to learn another piece of history especially one that shows how awesome women. I’m glad you and your daughter were able to experience this. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Stacie says: Reply

    Wow! I knew she was a real person but didn’t know it was an actual movement! How sweet to have been able to see this!

  10. Elle says: Reply

    So important for us to stand together. I loved this post and the history behind it.

  11. I love this! Girl power! I learned something new today.

  12. Kari Pinkerton Silcox says: Reply

    Love this, GO ROSIE AND GO GIRLS!! Such a cute yet empowering costume and good to know the history behind it 🙂

  13. Ivonne says: Reply

    What an empowering post! I tip my hat off to Rosie!

  14. This sounds like an amazing event! I would love to meet some of the amazing women who worked so hard back then and helped lay the groundwork for female empowerment!

  15. Never heard of it until now. Thank you for the information

  16. Agnes says: Reply

    Did not know the story behind it, thanks for sharing!

  17. The Savvy Age says: Reply

    How fun you can participate as a Tribute Rosie and participate in preserving the important history.

  18. Oh wow, what an amazing event. I’d love to have gone. How amazing of those women.

  19. Rose says: Reply

    I have seen a lot of “Rosie” posters lately for various things. I think this was a great event to take and share with your daughter. I will keep an eye out if we get one locally. What a great memory and great post.

  20. Lizzy says: Reply

    Wow! I never actually knew any of the story or history behind the infamous woman with a red bandana headband in blue! This is so cool!

  21. I love this, it so cute. Girl power!!

  22. Sassy says: Reply

    Ohh I love this! So nice to hear more about “Rosie”! I’ve seen this picture so many times but never really knew the story behind it. Amazing!

  23. This adds so much meaning to the famous Rosie the Riveter! this event is such a great way to thank the Rosies for their work

  24. Jenna says: Reply

    Wow, coolest event ever! I loved reading the history behind Rosie and I adore the photos.

  25. What an incredible movement for women to work during WWII. Such an honour to see this and the movement.

  26. Tanya says: Reply

    Such an inspiring read! What a great iconic image of a working woman!

  27. That was such an amazing experience I am sure. These were some very important women during the war years.

  28. This was SO cool. I loved seeing the pictures of the original Rosies. They are so darling.

  29. This is so amazing! I love it!

  30. I haven’t heard of this event. Very informative. Haha. Thank you for sharing this event! I love how happy they all look like in the photos <3

    xoxo, G

  31. Interesting, I always thought she was one person! I admire the significance.

  32. It was so nice to read it and to know something more about ‘Rosie’

  33. Shane says: Reply

    Ah I absolutely love this! I was Rosie for Halloween last year and felt so empowered 🙂

  34. Idriss says: Reply

    This is a refreshing little history lesson. Thank you for this

  35. I love this post! I never knew about this campaign. Thanks for teaching me something new. I love learning.

  36. Neha says: Reply

    Oh wow, i did not know this about Rosie :).Thanks for sharing.

  37. This is beyond amazing – Rosie the Riverter is such an iconic figure in history and I would have loved to have met the Original gals!

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