Heroine of war whose story riveted a nation
Tuesday 03 June 1997
Depicted as the embodiment of wholesome womanhood and unquestioning patriotism, Rose Will Monroe starred in posters and promotional films urging women to join the defence industries.
The Encyclopedia of American Economic History credited the "Rosie the Riveter" movement with helping push the number of working women to 20 million in four years of war, a 57 per cent jump from 1940.
Her daughter, Vickie Jarvis, said that the forces could not have chosen a better model. "They found Rose and she was a riveter and she was the one who fit the profile for the 'Rosie the Riveter' song," she said. "She happened to be in the right place at the right time."
There, however, the myth ends and reality sets in. Rose Monroe went to work on the assembly line at the Ypsilanti aircraft factory primarily for economic rather than patriotic reasons, in order to support her two children after the death of her husband in a car accident. She was then "discovered" by a Hollywood producer who visited the factory to match a fictional "Rosie" who already existed in propaganda posters.
In a echo of the arguments raging today about the role and conduct of women in the military, "Rosie" was thwarted in her ambition to learn to fly transport planes because she was a single mother.
Nor was she able to make a career in the air force: when the men returned, she successively drove a taxi, ran a beauty shop and founded a building company.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 4 AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
- 5 Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...