Tom Butt
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  Rosie the Riveter Feted in Washington DC
April 19, 2024

Last week, Shirley and I joined four other board members of Rosie the Riveter Trust to attend presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal to Rosie the Riveters (collectively). Rosies are loosely defined as women who did any kind of work to directly support the war effort in WWII. Some were actual riveters; others were welders, mechanics, drafters, agricultural workers, plane spotters and clerk-typists.

Others in our Richmond group included Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park Superintendent K. Lynn Berry, Rosie the Riveter Trust Executive Director Sarah Pritchard and Rosie the Riveter Trust staff. Although the main event was an official Congressional activity, Rosie the Riveter Trust led by Sarah Pritchard and her staff handled much of the non-governmental organizing and logistics. The Rosies, once numbering in the millions, were represented by 24 women from all over the United States, ranging in age from 90 to 107. Many admitted to falsifying their age to enter the workforce at an age younger than allowed.

The trip started off with a little excitement as we flew through the eclipse somewhere over Ohio.

May be an image of aircraft and twilight
Figure 1 -The eclipse from 35,000 feet

The first event was a reception and buffet dinner at the Hamilton Hotel where most of the Rosies were staying.

Figure 2 - Shirley with Marian Sousa form Richmond

Figure 3 - Marian Sousa

Figure 4 - Velma Williams Long, 106, and Dorothy Marks Boggess, 106 (renewed her driver's license last year)

On the morning before the main event, we visited the Frederick Douglass National Historical Site at his home in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, DC, a little off the beaten path but well worth it. We got an almost private tour of the home (three of us).

Figure 5 - Frederick Douglass House

The actual ceremony was April 10 at the Capitol.

Figure 7 - Ceremony Program

Figure 8 - Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical ark Superintendent K. Lynn Berry

Figure 9 - Rosies at the Capitol

On April 11, we all got a two-hour tour of the White House, and afterwards we stopped by to see Congressman Mark Desaulnier.

Figure 10 - Rosies at the White House

Figure 11 - Shirley in front of the West Wing

Figure 12 - We visited Congressman Mark DeSaulner at his office. Mark has been a big supporter of the park and Rosies.

Figure 13 - Rosie the Riveter Trust Executive Director at the final Celebratory Dinner