Detroit, Mich. —
Indeed, while women performed what had been male-dominated roles in plants all over the country during the war, it was Rose Will Monroe, born in Pulaski County in 1920, who caught the eye of Hollywood producers casting a “riveter” for a government film about the war effort at home.
The song "Rosie the Riveter" was popular at the time, and Monroe happened to best fit the description of the worker depicted in the song:
All the day long,
Whether rain or shine
She’s part of the assembly line.
She’s making history,
Working for victory
Rosie the Riveter.
Norman Rockwell depicted Monroe for the Saturday Evening Post and she became famous as a war bond promoter.
Rosie went on to become perhaps the most widely recognized icon of that era. Films and posters were used to encourage women to go to work in support of the war effort. According to Encyclopedia of American Economic History, "Rosie the Riveter" inspired a social movement that increased the number of working American women to 20 million by 1944.
Monroe achieved her dream of piloting a plane when she was in her 50s and her love of flying resulted in an accident that contributed to her death 19 years later.
If the Save the Bomber Plant Campaign is successful, the Yankee Air Museum will move from its current location on the east side of Willow Run Airport to the former bomber plant, which is adjacent to the airport’s western boundary.
All of the museum’s collections and exhibits, including aircraft, would then be reunited at a single site, which was the end of the World War II-era assembly line where planes were completed and exited the plant for delivery to the government.