Saturday, February 1, 2020


military museum
We rolled up our sleeves to help some Rosie the Riveters in crafting Valentines for veterans. The Eastern Michigan Women Ordnance Workers chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association held the event which included some of the actual ladies who worked on wartime assembly lines producing airplanes, tanks, and other military equipment during World War II.  Anyone was welcome to stop into the Michigan Military Technical & Historical Society museum to join in making some handcrafted Valentine's Day cards to be distributed by WOW members at the Vets Returning Home Center in Roseville, Michigan.

My daughter met a number of actual "Rosie the Riveters" who had taken over gritty manufacturing jobs previously held exclusively by men prior to WWII as they supported the war effort providing the Asian and European military theaters with supplies for Allied troops fighting the Axis alliance. We took some pictures with 92 year old Mary who worked on an assembly line helping put together B-26 bomber aircraft at a plant in Detroit.


Rosie the Riveter has become an iconic feminist symbol highlighting the contributions women made during World War II in providing the muscle of America's arsenal of democracy in manufacturing facilities across the country. The term first originated in a 1943 song by Redd Evans titled "Rosie the Riveter"

All the day long, whether rain or shine She's a part of the assembly line She's making history, working for victory-- Rosie, brrrrrr, the riveter. 

Keeps a sharp lookout for sabotage Sitting up there on the fuselage. That little frail can do more than a male can do-- Rosie, brrrrrr, the riveter.

Rosie's got a boyfriend, Charlie. 

Charlie, he's a Marine. 

Rosie is protecting Charlie, workin' overtime on the riveting machine. 

When they gave her a production "E," she was as proud as a girl could be! 

There's something true about--red, white, and blue about--Rosie, brrrr, the riveter.

Based upon the popularity of the song, posters depicting "Rosie the Riveter" were used by the Canadian and United States governments to promote civilian initiatives and moral during World War II. It is believed the look of Rosie was based upon a woman named Rose Will Monroe who worked as a riveter in the Willow Run Aircraft Factory building B-24 bomber planes. She was featured in a promotional film about the war effort at home that was playing in movie theaters around the same time Evans song was becoming a national hit. The two coincided to create the classic image of Rosie the Riveter that has become a national symbol of equality and patriotism.


Rosie the Riveter wasn't just a symbol though. There were millions of real life Rosie the Riveters who were in their teens, twenties and thirties during World War II with the ones who are still with us now in their eighties, nineties, and some are over a hundred years old. Many of these elderly women are still helping the soldiers participating in WOW chapters doing activities such as making holiday cards for veterans and preparing care packages for active duty troops overseas. Plus they make an effort to continue to keep the memory of Rosie the Riveter alive with new generations of girls like my own daughter. It was a great experience to spend some time with a few of these real life Rosie the Riveters.

Meant to preserve and promote the history of the Arsenal of Democracy, the Michigan Military Technical and Historical Society incorporates WOW chapter events into the programming at its Eastpointe museum. The Michigan Military Technical and Historical Society museum houses a variety of exhibits in its 11,000 square foot museum that showcase locally manufactured equipment, uniforms, weapons and vehicles utilized by the United States armed forces from World War I through the present day. This volunteer-driven museum is located at 16600 Stephens Road, Eastpointe Michigan 48021 and is open on weekends. Saturdays 10 am - 5pm + Sundays Noon to 4pm. For more information, go to

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