(10/24/2017)

Submitted by Gary Coberly

Not all Rosies went back to the typical lives they had before the Second World War. You likely do not recognize the person in the photo - Norma Jeane Dougherty. A photographer found her making drones at a war factory in California.  Did you know that drones were used even back in the 1940s war effort? Thousands were built; manufactured at the Radioplane plant at the Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles, California.

It was at this factory on June 26, 1944 that Army photographer David Conover saw a young woman assembler who he thought had potential as a model. He photographed her in the plant. One photo lead to another, which led to a screen test for Norma Jeane, Soon this pretty girl changed her name. We know her best today by her "professional name" - Marilyn Monroe! True, but who knew?

While it is true that no other Rosie had quite the meteoric rise to stardom that Marilyn had, all were changed. They went on to more fulfilling lives that allowed them greater autonomy and greater control of themselves and their capacity"

There is still much debate on the long-term effects of women's war work on the position of women after the war. Did their working sow the seeds of the second wave of feminism? Maybe, although Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique wasn't published until 1963. Did women return to their homes and families and become 1950s TV mothers like June Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver? No. They had a far greater sense of self-worth than ever before.

It was still years before Helen Reddy sang "I am woman, hear me roar," but the seed was sown. In 1940, fewer than 800 female engineers were working in the U.S. Sixteen years later, their ranks had grown to 4,000. The number of working women never again fell to pre-war levels.

Not one local business of the 92 we wrote to has to date contributed a nickel to the WV Rosie the Riveter Bell Project! Since the local business community has decided to ignore recognition of the Rosie contribution, let us appeal directly to the women whose lives have been magnified by the Rosie phenomenon far more than they likely suspect.

You can honor their effort now in Gilmer County by making a contribution to the WV Rosie the Riveter Bell project which will permanently install a commemorative bell in Glenville City Park.

Thanks! Plain and Simple, our state's association to revere these women says, "We pull better if we pull together." Please join by making a donation for the bell in the name of: Thanks! Plain and Simple or just "WV Rosie Bell" and send it to: WV Rosie the Riveter Bell, PO Box 163, Glenville, WV 26351.


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