A group of lawmakers are working to make “National Rosie the Riveter Day” a reality.
Local Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, Democratic California Congressman Jared Huffman, Democratic California Congresswoman Jackie Speier, and Democratic California Congressman Mark DeSaulnier along with Pennsylvania Democratic Senator Bob Casey have introduced a resolution to honor the millions of women who helped with the war effort on March 21.
“During World War II, women across the country – and across our district – left their homes for factory jobs in support of the war effort. Working as riveters, buckers, welders, and electricians. These ‘Rosie the Riveters’ embodied the ‘we can do it’ spirit forever connected with the famous poster. I’m proud to recognize these home front-heroes with a National Rosie the Riveter Day. I’m especially proud to represent a “Rosie,” Mae Krier of Levittown, who has worked tirelessly in advocating for this long-deserved recognition,” Fitzpatrick said.
“As we begin Women’s History Month celebrations, I urge my colleagues to join me in paying tribute to these American patriots,” Casey said.
Women in the American workforce jumped from 27 percent to nearly 37 percent between 1940 and 1945, the year World War II ended. The “Rosies” worked across the country to fill various jobs. The jobs were often previously held by men who were called to fight the Nazi’s and Japanese forces. The aviation industry saw the largest amount of female workers with 65 percent of its workforce made up of “Rosies” in 1943.
Bucks County and Philadelphia were home to a large number of “Rosies” due to the manufacturing facilities for the war effort, including at the Fleetwing aircraft manufacturing facility along Green Lane in Bristol Township.
The women’s contributions to their country and industry slowly changed womens role in the workforce.
Krier, a 91-year-old Bristol Township resident, had wrote letters and advocated for a national day to honor the women who helped during the war since the 1980s. She did score a victory when May 23, 2016 was recognized as “Rosie the Riveter Day” in Pennsylvania.
“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. Had it not been for the women in World War II, we might be speaking German or Japanese today,” she told LevittownNow.com in an interview last year.
Krier, who worked on B-17 bombers, has traveled across the country in recent years to share her story, meet other women with stories similar to hers, and advocate for recognition for the “gals.”
“[Hitler] thought American women were soft, and we (Rosie the Riveters) showed him we weren’t,” Krier said.
Rose Russo recalled last year that young women just were not in the workforce at that time. She worked at the Fleetwing facility making pieces for the tail section of planes.
The call for a “National Rosie the Riveter Day” has been made over the years but had not moved forward.