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Rosie National Park News

Please join the National Park Service and its partners for these exciting upcoming events

August 25

Public Talk: The Legacy of Dr. Sidney R. Garfield. Author Tom Debley, Director of Heritage Resources, Kaiser Permanente, gives a talk about Dr.

Sidney Garfield, a visionary physician who turned sick care into health care during World War II. Dr. Copies of The Story of Sidney R. Garfield:

The Visionary Who Turned Sick Care Into Health Care will be available for purchase.

The Commonwealth Club of California

595 Market Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 5:30 pm Reception/ 6:00 pm Program

Cost: $8 members; $15 non-members. Tickets available at https://tickets.commonwealthclub.org/show_events_list_club.asp?shCode=1359.

August 27

The final evening of the NPS Home Front Film Festival series features "The Best Years of Our Lives," a moving film about three service men returning home from World War II. The film received seven Academy Awards in 1947.


   7 pm (6:30 pm boarding), Thursday, August 13



   SS Red Oak Victory ship, Hold 4

   Shipyard No. 3

   1337 Canal Blvd., Berth 6A

   Richmond, California


   Call 510-232-5050 or visit

   http://www.nps.gov/rori/upload/film%20festival.pdf for details.

September 5th, 6th & 7th at 3 pm

Shotgun Players present "This World in a Woman's Hands" - a play about the African-American women who built ships in the Bay Area during WWII.

Accompanied by live music.

For more info, visit the Shotgun Player's Website:

http://www.shotgunplayers.org/womans.htm or call 510-841-6500. FREE in RIchmond at the Nevin Community Center - followed by a free dinner and conversation with the playwright, director and actors.

598 Nevin Ave. @ 6th St. in Richmond.

September 12


   Welcome Back to the Heart of Richmond & 60th Anniversary: September 18,

   1949 - September 12, 2009

   All-Day Community Celebration

   Saturday, September 12, 2009

   11 AM - 5 PM

   450 Civic Center Plaza

   Richmond, CA 94804

   - Music & Dance Performances

   - Dedication Program

   - Children & Family Activities

   - Public Art Tours

   - Richmond Films

   - Historical Fashion Show

   - Dance Competition

   - Food and Much More


Please note our new address across from Richmond City Hall in downtown Richmond!

Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park

2566 Macdonald Ave.

Richmond CA 94804


General Park Information:  510-232-5050

World War II musical comes to Victory ship

By Chris Treadway
West County Times

Posted: 08/20/2009 10:10:55 AM PDT

Updated: 08/20/2009 02:13:06 PM PDT


The drama of life on the home front of World War II will be re-enacted where it took place more than 60 years ago. "Rivets," a musical by East Bay playwright Kathryn McCarty, will tell the sweeping story of the war shipyards and the men and women who worked there, in a month of performances that begin Aug. 28 aboard the S.S. Red Oak Victory.

The Red Oak, built in Richmond and the last surviving victory ship, is one of the central pieces of the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park and is anchored at the former Kaiser shipyard No. 3, now part of the Port of Richmond.

"Rivets" was well received when it debuted last fall, leading to a return engagement for which several new songs have been added.

The war is a backdrop for the story of changes society was undergoing during the 1940s as women and minorities joined the once-exclusive workforce in the nation's defense industries. The times and the work were not easy and neither were the changes to long-standing ways in the workplace.

"The show's characters are fictional, but the story is based on a decade of historical research," McCarty said. "Henry J. Kaiser's shipyards produced the ships that helped America win World War II, and changed our country forever."

Clay David, the head of the drama department at Contra Costa College in San Pablo, is again directing the updated production, which he describes as "the story of the development of the Bay Area where the population swelled as people migrated to the East Bay in search of war production work."

Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 27. There will be 3 p.m. Saturday matinees on Sept. 12, 19 and 26.

Admission is $20 general, $15 seniors and students, with a $2 discount for those who bring a donation for the Blue Star Mom's Holiday Care Packages for soldiers.

For tickets or details call 925-676-5705 or visit www.galateanplayers.com.

The SS Red Oak Victory is located at 1337 Canal Blvd., Berth 6A, in the Port of Richmond.

ANOTHER HOME FRONT SHOW: Also on the S.S. Red Oak Victory next week is the final entry of the National Park Service Home Front Film Festival series. The Academy Award-winning 1947 film "The Best Years of Our Lives" will be shown in Hold 4 at 7 p.m., with the ship open for boarding at 6:30 p.m. A donation of $5 general and $4 seniors is requested. A National Park Service ranger will provide an introduction to the films in the context of the wartime home front.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: The Richmond Eagles, a first-year football and cheer program for boys and girls ages 5 to 15, is holding a free open house jamboree from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 29 on the football field at Contra Costa College in San Pablo.

Interested West County families are invited to attend, get enrollment information, stop by the snack bar and see the Richmond team and its counterparts from San Francisco and Vallejo play in scrimmages in the program's five age divisions.

The Eagles plan to hold sign-ups and practices from 5:15 to 7:30 p.m. weekdays at the Richmond High School field.

The program is also seeking sponsors. For more information contact Mark Torres at 888-582-5848 or markt@richmondeagles.org.

Reach Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com.

Days Gone By: Many hands went into making of Rosie the Riveter Park

By Nilda Rego
Times correspondent

Posted: 08/02/2009 12:01:00 AM PDT


THIS JUNE, along with history lovers from all over California, my husband and I attended the four-day Conference of California Historical Societies meeting in Martinez.

This four-day meeting was co-hosted by the Martinez Historical Society and the National Park Service. It featured tours, workshops, breakfasts, luncheons, banquets, awards and a special performance of the hilarious play "Pageant," put on by the Willows Theatre Company in Martinez's historic Campbell Theatre.

Andrea Blackman, director of the Martinez Museum, and Mary Ellen Jones, a regional vice-president of the CCHS, were the duo responsible for making this meeting a success.

We joined the group on a Friday in time to bus to one of the nation's newest national parks, the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park in Richmond.

Our first stop on the tour was at the former Ford Assembly Plant, where the Park Service has located a visitor's center. Park rangers were quick to tell us two things.

First, Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park has the longest name of any park in the National Park Service.

And second, it is the only park in the system that doesn't own any of the land it sits on. It doesn't have set boundaries like other parks. It encompasses many sites and is in the process of including more.

The Park is a joint effort. The players include the Park Service, Richmond, Rosie the Riveter Trust, Richmond Museum of History and Richmond Museum Association.

We found out that the mission of this particular park is to tell the story of the people who worked on the home front during World War II.

On-the-job training

Among those telling their stories at the center, which at this point is rather makeshift, was Agnes Moore, one of those original Rosies. Now in her 80s, she said women could get work in the shipyards without experience.

"You got paid while you were training," she said.

Park Ranger Betty Reid Soskin is another Rosie. She talked about people from all over the country, especially the South, coming to Richmond, exploding its population from about 20,000 to 100,000. Workers found they could work together even though they were of different colors and different genders. It was a breakthrough. However, while the workplace wasn't segregated, housing for the workers was.

After hearing from the Rosies, we took a walk through one of the biggest banquet/concert halls I've ever seen 40,000 square feet, almost the size of a football field. It was what the Ford people use to call the craneway.

Orton Development owns the historic plant, which covers more than a half-million square feet and sits on one of the most glorious sites on San Francisco Bay. Besides the Park Service, it houses six other tenants.

Our next stop was at the ship, the Red Oak Victory. It is owned by the Richmond Museum Association and is berthed at the old Kaiser Shipyard No. 3, which is owned by the City of Richmond.

We had lunch in the mess hall, found out more about women working in the shipyards and then climbed up and down endless number of ladders. We went almost to the top of the ship and then down into the engine room. We looked at the three-inch gun and the five-inch gun. We peeked into the crew's sleeping quarters, including the ship's captain, who naturally had the biggest and best-furnished cabin.

Rosie memorial

The last stop was at the Rosie the Riveter Memorial at Marina Bay Park the site of Kaiser Shipyard No. 2.

At first I couldn't figure out what the memorial was all about. I suppose I was expecting a bronze statue of a muscular Rosie. But what I saw was a structure that didn't seem finished. I was right it wasn't. It depicts the hull of a ship under construction. It stretches from about the center of Marina Bay Park to the shore of the Bay, the length of a Victory ship.

Quotes from women shipyard workers are inscribed along the path toward the Bay.

The final quote is "You must tell your children, putting modesty aside, that without us, without women, There would have been no Spring in 1945."

Nilda Rego's Days Gone By appears Sunday in A&E. Reach her at nildarego@comcast.net.