Women in Slacks!
Women wearing anything but skirts was "de rigueur" before WWII when they were expected to stay in the home, cooking and cleaning. But in 1941, when the war effort took the men from factory jobs, America's women stepped in to keep the production of firepower going and win the war.
"The hand that rocks the baby can also run the drill press" headlines touted at the time.
Crawling around ships and aircraft to bolt and rivet couldn't be done in skirts and that is how women in slacks became practical - and fashionable. "Rosie the Riveter" was born, and she brought the beginning of many more changes to American women's lives.
Nineteen West Virginia Rosies were celebrated in Charleston in May and now plans are underway for a large bell to be installed to celebrate them in Gilmer County.
Anyone wishing to endorse this project with a contribution to the matching grant may do so by sending a donation to: WV Rosie the Riveter Bell, PO Box 163, Glenville, WV 26351.
Click to learn more about
Rosie the Riveter
WHY A ROSIE THE RIVETER BELL?
In 1954 The Netherlands gave a carillon tower to the United States in gratitude for our contribution to winning WWII. America freed not only the Dutch but all Europeans from Nazi domination. The Netherlands Carillion's fifty bells now ring out concerts on summer Saturdays in Arlington near the National Cemetery.
This past January several WV Rosies were invited to meet The Netherlands' King and Queen and be thanked for their invaluable work in liberating the allied nations. West Virginia's Rosie organization, called Thanks! Plain and Simple, has adopted the ringing of bells as the appropriate commemoration of the women who left their homes to take the place of men then at war, keep the factories producing war materials, and win WWII. On Labor Day, local girl scouts with Thanks! will ring bells for Rosies at Flatwoods. Rosies will be there and we hope you will, too.
Gilmer County is joining the International Rosie the Riveter Movement with this antique bell. It is 15 ½ inches of steel alloy weighing over forty pounds and will be mounted in Glenville City Park. The bell is being donated by a local Rosie, but the $2500 matching pole must be funded by donations. Not only will this put Gilmer County on the map of the growing number of those honoring the Rosies work (Belgium, The Netherlands and the UK have all offered memorial events) but the bell itself, permanently installed in the City Park, will be used for all types of celebrations - marking the start of parades, opening the Folk Festival, ringing in the holidays, and more.
Wouldn't you like to participate? We can all help in this project by contributing for the installation at: WV Rosie the Riveter Bell, P. O. Box 163, Glenville, WV 26351.