While 18-year-old boys were fighting in World War ll to save the world from Nazis, teenage girls fulfilled their patriotic duty by working in factories buildings planes and war supplies.
Represented by the fictional character, Rosie the Riviter, these women ushered in tremendous social change making it socially acceptable and even desirable for women to work outside the home.
It’s taken decades, but women are finally being recognized for the many important roles they played in World War II.
At a recent event at Fantasy of Flight in Florida, many of these women were honored for their sacrifices, hard work and groundbreaking efforts to keep the homefront moving forward.
At 17 years old, Angela Peverski had to leave her job in a dress shop — and her dreams of moving to New York to become a designer — to help out with the war effort. She soon found herself in a wartime factory making the cells for the engines in B-24s. She was one of the original Rosie the Riveters.
Angela explains how this era affected the social movement and forever changed women’s roles in the home and workplace. When she started in her factory job, even her mother was outraged because she didn’t think women belonged in factories — they belonged at home.
Through Angela’s memories and fascinating historical footage and photos, see how Rosie the Riveters changed America forever.
Geraldine Hoff Doyle, the inspiration for “Rosie the Riveter,” died in December 2010 at the age of 86 due to complications from arthritis. The 17-year-old Doyle was working at a metal factory in Ann Arbor, Michigan, when a visiting United Press International photographer snapped a pic of her on the job.
The image was then used by artist J. Howard Miller for the “We Can Do It!” poster and was interpreted by Norman Rockwell on the Saturday Evening Post in 1943.
In May 2002, Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter painting was auctioned by Sotheby’s for nearly $5 million.
Want to hear more from the men and women who lived through World War II? Check out: