Will the Real ‘Rosie the Riveter’ Please Stand Up?


pGrowing up, I loved visiting my grandmother Dorothy’s house (we affectionately called her Dot – not grandma! She said it made her feel old).

Not long before she passed away, I noticed a picture of Rosie the Riveter in her living room. I don’t know why I hadn’t observed it before. It was so fitting.

She was one of the six million women Rosie represents who joined the workforce during World War II to replace American men who had enlisted. She was tough. She was patriotic. And she exemplified Rosie’s mantra that “We Can Do It.”

If Rosie had been a real person, the two would have undoubtedly shared a kinship.

Wait! Rosie the Riveter was a fictional character?

Well, yes and no … but mainly yes.

This fascinating History Channel video tells Rosie’s story.

A few fun facts:

  • Between 1940 and 1945, the female demographic in the United States workforce jumped from 27% to 37%. Half of those women held jobs in the defense industry.
  • The original depiction of Rosie was painted by Norman Rockwell and appeared in the 1943 Memorial Day issue of the Saturday Evening Post. His inspiration? A dental hygienist named Mary Keefe.

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