‘Rosie the Riveter’ Day in PA March 21 to Honor Women Workers during WWII

State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, was joined by fellow legislators to adopt H.R. 106, designating March 21, 2019, as Rosie the Riveter Day in Pennsylvania.

Shusterman said she introduced H.R. 106, to bring awareness to the millions of women who filled the jobs that were left vacant by men during World War II.

“Women during World War II answered the call to support our economy, our workforce, and our military while providing for their families,” Shusterman said. “It was my honor Monday to recognize two pioneering women from Pennsylvania who joined the U.S. aircraft industry and reflected a bold symbol of female patriotism and strength that continues to inspire us today.”

Shusterman honored Ruth Wilson of Philadelphia, who trained and worked as a sheet metalist at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. She also recognized Mae Krier of Levittown, a “Rosie the Riveter” advocate who worked in the aircraft industry when the war began.

Rosie the Riveter has been considered a cultural icon of World War II and a campaign to help recruit women to work in the defense industries. Some of their duties included building ships, repairing airplanes, and assembling anti-aircraft guns as contributions to the war effort. Nearly 19 million women held jobs during World War II, growing the female percentage of the U.S. workforce from 27 percent to almost 37 percent. As many were mothers, groups pooled their resources to fulfill the mostly male-dominated workforce duties, as well as responsibilities at home to care for their children.

Shusterman noted this resolution is a part of a broader effort to get recognition for “Rosies” across the commonwealth and the country. In 2018 Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania proposed a bill to award “Rosie” a congressional gold medal.