Calling all ‘Rosies’ to help retake world record

Vintage image of Rosie the Riveter by J. Howard Miller. Courtesy National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

Vintage image of Rosie the Riveter by J. Howard Miller. Courtesy National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

Women and girls of all ages are invited to help preserve Michigan history and retake the Guinness World Record for the Largest Gathering of Rosie the Riveters in one place since World War II Oct. 14 at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center, 799 N. Hewitt Road in Ypsilanti.

The original Rosie the Riveter, Rose Will Monroe, worked as a riveter at the Willow Run Aircraft Factory in Ypsilanti, building B-24 bombers for the U.S. Air Force. The world record event is part of a spirited competition between Michigan and California to bring the record home, celebrate women in the workforce and inspire younger generations with the “We Can Do It!” spirit characterized by the female workers who stepped up to fill the factory jobs traditionally held by men during World War II.

“Rosie the Riveter is part of our history in Michigan,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), event co-chairwoman. “She has inspired generations of women to break down barriers, and this effort to retake the world record celebrates her enduring legacy – a legacy that began at the Willow Run Bomber Plant in Ypsilanti.

“This day is about coming together as a community, telling the stories of the iconic women who changed the role of women in the workplace, and passing our history on to future generations. We invite everyone to join us on Oct. 14 to bring the record home to Ypsilanti and celebrate the power that we, as women, bring to the workplace and the economy.”

In October 2015, Dingell joined more than 2,000 women, including 43 original Rosies, at the former Willow Run Bomber Plant in Ypsilanti to take back the Guinness record for the largest gathering of Rosie the Riveters since World War II. Last August, Rosies in Richmond, Calif., set a new record with 2,229 Rosies gathered in one place.

“Like the Rosies who came before us, Michigan women embody the ‘We Can Do It’ spirit,” Dingell said. “With the help of women all across the state, we are going to take our record back with a gathering that no one else can beat.”

There is no cost to attend the event and doors will open at 9 a.m. There will be activities throughout the morning. In order to be counted in the world record gathering, participants are asked to arrive no later than 11 a.m.

Women of all ages are invited. Registration is required, and may be done ahead of time at http://yankeeairmuseum.org/rosie-world-record. Costume requirements consist of dark blue work clothes, red socks, dark shoes with closed toes, and the quintessential red and white polka dot bandana.