Rep. Huffman Celebrates ‘National Rosie the Riveter Day’

March 21, 2017

Washington, D.C.- Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today celebrated the first-ever “National Rosie the Riveter Day,” honoring the countless American women of all races and backgrounds who joined the workforce during World War II and took on new roles previously held by men.

Rep. Huffman has co-led the Congressional effort to establish a day to recognize these women who helped win the war, and have come to be symbolized by the iconic Rosie the Riveter image. This month, the Senate passed Senate Resolution 76, which designated today, March 21st, 2017, as National Rosie the Riveter Day.

“Today, as we celebrate the first-ever National Rosie the Riveter Day, we recognize the remarkable ‘Rosie the Riveters’ who not only helped our nation win World War II, but inspired generations to follow in their footsteps with the knowledge that women can do anything that men can do,” said Rep. Huffman. “The work that the Rosies did and the new roles that they took on in the workforce during the war forced us to look at child care and health care in a new way, and the inclusion of women of color in often-segregated work places increased the momentum in the fight for equal rights. Let’s use the legacy of the ‘Rosies’ as inspiration to continue fighting for equal rights for all with renewed vigor today.

“We would not be celebrating National Rosie the Riveter Day if it were not for the tireless and much-appreciated efforts of my constituent and an original ‘Rosie,’ Phyllis Gould. I am also grateful to my colleagues in the Senate, led by Senator Casey of Pennsylvania, for working diligently to pass this resolution and for working with me on the Congress-wide efforts to properly recognize the ‘Rosies.’ We owe Phyllis and all the ‘Rosies’ a great debt, and must continue to recognize them as the American heroes that they are.”

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 women 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, 95, of Fairfax, CA, was one of the first six women to work as Navy-certified journeyman welders at the Kaiser-Richmond shipyards from 1942-45. Over the last eight years she 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.

In April of 2014, Gould and several other California “Rosies” visited the U.S. Capitol where they met with Rep. Huffman, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and other San Francisco Bay Area lawmakers. In this same trip, they toured the White House and the Pentagon, and met with President Obama and Vice President Biden.

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