Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Resolution for National Rosie the Riveter Day
Washington, D.C.- In honor of Women’s History Month, Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA), along with Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) introduced a Congressional resolution to recognize March 21st, 2018, as ‘National Rosie the Riveter Day’ to honor the millions of women who supported the war effort on the home front during World War II.
“During World War II, women across the nation supported the war effort by leaving their homes and taking on factory jobs. These ‘Rosies’ helped end the war, redefine traditional gender roles, and inspire future generations of women to follow in their footsteps,” said Rep. Huffman. “It’s Women’s History Month, and it’s fitting that we continue to honor these women by designating a national day of recognition for their bravery and hard work. Let’s continue to recognize the ‘Rosies’ as the American heroes they are.”
“Throughout our nation’s history, countless Americans have answered the call to service during times of conflict and turmoil,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “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.”
“The women who heeded the call to action during World War II are among our greatest living heroines,” said Rep. Speier. “While other World War II heroes have been awarded Congressional Gold Medals for their sacrifice, Congress continues to overlook our ‘Rosie the Riveters’ in an unconscionable dismissal of their contribution to the war effort and eradicating barriers to women joining the workforce. I’ve been privileged to work firsthand with some of these incredible women during my time in Congress. Phyllis Gould and her sister, Marion Sousa, have led the charge to achieve national recognition for Rosies. Mae Krier, who went to work at Boeing Aircraft right out of high school, is one of the foremost Rosie advocates in the country. Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park Ranger Betty Reid Soskin, the oldest National Park Ranger in the country, works tirelessly to preserve the Rosies’ trailblazing legacy. These women, and all the Rosies, deserve recognition befitting their bravery and sacrifice.”
“At the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond during World War II, Rosies helped produce more ships than any other shipyard in the country,” said Rep. DeSaulnier. “On top of their contributions to the war effort, Rosies helped pave the way for future generations of women in the workforce. I cannot think of a more deserving group of sheroes for this honor.”
Between 1940 and 1945, the percent of women in the workforce jumped from 27% to nearly 37%, and by the end of the war, nearly one out of every four married women worked outside the home. These ‘Rosies’ took positions across various industries, but the aviation industry saw the biggest increase of female workers – with more than 310,000 working in the aircraft industry in 1943, representing 65% of its workforce.
Phyllis Gould, 97, of Fairfax, California, was one of the first six women to work as Navy-certified journeyman welders at the Kaiser-Richmond shipyards from 1942-45, providing the weapons and ammunition to help end the war. Over the last nine years, Phyllis has personally met with Vice President Joe Biden, written to Presidents Obama and Trump, Vice President Pence, and spoken with or written to countless Members of Congress in support of a ‘National Rosie the Riveter Day.’