Detroit, Mich. —
An aerospace foundation group says $1.5 million is needed by next month to save the Willow Run Bomber Plant west of Detroit where a Science Hill woman, dubbed “Rosie the Riveter,” became an icon for millions of women working in defense during World War II.
Rose Will Monroe was born in Science Hill in 1920. She moved to Michigan in 1942 during World War II and worked at the Willow Run Aircraft Factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Monroe was one of several women who were called “Rosie the Riveter,” but the Pulaski County woman played herself in a promotional film about the war effort.
Popular during a bleak period when the world was at war was the song, “Rosie the Riveter:”
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
The Science Hill native happened to best fit the description of the worker depicted in the song. Her name “Rose” was one of the factors leading to her selection to star in the film.
Monroe left Science Hill and went to Michigan shortly after her husband was killed in a car wreck. She was determined to find work at the Willow Run airplane plant in Ypsilanti, Mich. She got a job, most of the time working as a riveter in 1942 and 1943.
During this time Norman Rockwell depicted Monroe for the Saturday Evening Post and she became famous as a war bond promoter. Films and posters were used to encourage women to go to work in support of the war effort.
Although women performed what had been male-dominated roles in plants all over the country during the war, it was Monroe, who was one of an untold number of women in the Willow Run plant's 40,000-person workforce, who caught the eye of Hollywood producers casting a "riveter" for a government film about the war effort at home.