The image of Rosie the Riveter has been reused and reinterpreted many times over the years. During World War II, Rosie’s confident expression and exuberant show of physical strength inspired young women to take jobs in factories producing goods to support the war effort.
After Pearl Harbor, many men left their jobs to join the forces overseas. At the same time, factories were signing huge military contracts. Rosie the Riveter, named after a 1942 song, helped to convince an estimated 18 million women across the country to work in defense and support-related industries.
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California, was dedicated in 2000 and honors the women and men who supported the war effort here in the United States. The park features a Rosie the Riveter Memorial, sculpted to resemble the shape of a liberty ship, and featuring photos and quotes from real-life "Rosies" around the country. In addition to telling the stories of the women who worked in war factories, the park also collects information about all the activities that comprised the war effort at home.
The park is located on the site of a shipyard, where the SS Red Oak Victory and many other ships were built during World War II. You can tour the SS Red Oak Victory, the last of the 747 ships launched at Richmond, California, during World War II. You can also follow an auto tour to other sites throughout Richmond that are related to the war effort. More information will be available to the public when the park officially opens its new visitor center on May 26, 2012.
Park Service employees also continue the mission of empowering young women through a special outreach program in the park's hometown of Richmond, California, connecting middle school girls with park history, female role models, and a range of skill development opportunities. Learn more about this innovative program, "Rosie's Girls," on NPCA's blog, the Park Advocate.