He Trained “Rosie” and Went to the Movies with Her

by Matilda Butler on February 10, 2014

Post #58 - Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett

First Hand Memory of Working with a Rosie the Riveter

You may remember that we recently published a story by Bill Thomas. Bill helped train women in the art of riveting. His employer managed to keep him for a while, but soon Bill and two friends all joined the military together.

In Bill’s last story, he talked about his experiences in training women to become riveters. Today, he has returned with another story that we think you’ll enjoy because it helps to let us know more about what life was like at the home front during World War II. Movies at 9 in the morning? It makes perfect sense because there were round-the-clock shifts to produce what America needed for the war effort. Yet I’d never heard any stories that mentioned this.

Here’s what Bill Thomas remembers:

BILL THOMAS: While working the “midnight shift” from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., many of us “riveters” would go out for breakfast (or dinner) after our shift ended. Often, we’d go to a theater to see a movie. In those days, the theaters gave “free gifts” like dishes or teapots. This particular day, it was a free teapot with a cover.

Enola, one of the “Rosie riveters” was a beautiful young lady (about 22), and she agreed to accompany me to the movie house. The theater, at about 9:00 a.m., was nearly empty when Enola and I went to our seats so we sat pretty much in mid-theater, and Enola placed the teapot on the empty seat, to her right,

Gradually, more people came in and eventually a couple wanted to sit next to Enola, so I volunteered to move the teapot to the seat on my left.

Again, more people came in and someone wanted to sit on the seat where I had placed the teapot, so I placed the teapot on the floor beneath my seat. In those days (1940’s) carpeting was laid only in the aisles, so the floor under the seats was bare concrete, and smooth.

After the newsreel, “The Three Stooges” came on. As in all their films, they were outrageously hilarious. I kept laughing so much that I didn’t notice my foot “kicked” the teapot so it slid downward on the smooth concrete floor.

Suddenly, a guy, three rows in front of us, yelled out, “Who lost a teapot?” Enola was embarrassed so she slunk down in her seat, but brave lad that I am, I answered, “Hey, that’s mine.” The guy stood up and said, “Well, come and get it.”

He wouldn’t just pass it back over the seats, so I had to wiggle over a dozen movie-viewers to get to the aisle, walk a dozen steps and watch as a “crew” of people passed the teapot from one person to the next until the teapot reached me. A moment later, I noticed the teapot top was missing, so I tried to whisper to the guy who found the teapot, “Do you have the lid?”

Meanwhile, everyone is either laughing at the “Stooges” funny antics, or at my teapot interruption. Some people threw mean remarks at me. Finally, I had a complete teapot but then I needed to wiggle my way over a dozen patrons to get back to my seat.

Moments later, I told Enola, “You can sit up now,” I handed HER teapot back to her.

A month later, I enlisted in the Army, and never saw Enola again

………………………..
Bill, that’s a terrific story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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Video About Rosie; New Rosie Gift Baskets for the Holidays

by Matilda Butler on December 3, 2013

Post #57 - Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett

Kendra and I follow all the news related to Rosie the Riveter. We even have our friends on the lookout for us. In today’s email, we received a link to the video below. It just may be the best that we’ve seen. It has high production values…shows the link between the Rosie the Riveter poster, the Norman Rockwell magazine cover, and the song “Rosie the Riveter.” We think you’ll enjoy it.

We have such great Rosie fans who regularly visit this website. Many of you have also purchased one of our Rosie the Riveter Legacy Bandanas or our Rosie the Riveter Employment Badge/Collar Pin or our DIY Rosie Portrait Kit or our award-winning collective memoir: Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story.

Kendra and I want to shout out a big “Thank You.” We love it when you send us your photo wearing Rosie Gear or when you show us your reading group with their copies of Rosie’s Daughters. It’s all just great.

After we settled down from our huge Halloween Season and read the many emails we’ve received, we realized:

1. Some of you want to keep the message of Rosie (strength, courage, empowerment) around you all year long, not just on Halloween. But you don’t want to wear the bandana everyday (although it’s cute enough to do that!)

2. Others of you want to pass on Rosie’s message to your friends and family but you’re not sure that the bandana is the right gift. You know what we mean. You love your mother but she just isn’t the bandana type.

3. And still others, have a dog and would love to see that much loved pet in a cute Rosie bandana.

So we created THREE special gift baskets that we hope you’ll consider giving this holiday season as they respond to the needs to told us about. And since your past support has meant so much to us, we’re offering you each of these at a very special discounted price.

Gift Basket #1: ROSIE AFTER WORK. Rosie wasn’t all work and no play. After a long day on the assembly line, she went home, took a bath, put on her red lipstick and enjoyed an evening out. She just might have traded her red and white polka dot bandana for this great red and white polka dot HairLoom we call “The Bette.” We imagine her wearing it to the movies, an evening at the Hollywood Canteen or even an afternoon tea dance.

Entertainment was part of Rosie’s life after work. The music of Glenn Miller was big throughout the war years, and movies were HUGE. We named this HairLoom “The Bette” because in 1942, Bette Davis was at the top of her career. And together with John Garfield and Jules Stein, she established the Hollywood Canteen to entertain service men and women. The Canteen opened on October 3, 1942, and remained open until Thanksgiving Day November 22, 1945.

Click Here to See More Photos of Gift Basket #1 and to Order.

WHAT YOU GET in Gift Basket #1: ROSIE AFTER WORK

  • “THE BETTE” HairLoom (with French barrette or with pony tail elastic, your choice) packaged in a clear cello bag and festooned with ribbons
  • ROSIE THE RIVETER EMPLOYMENT BADGE ZIPPER PULL in a precious red and white polka dot box and tied with a gold ribbon, makes this an elegant gift
  • FREE Priority Mail Shipping (within the US)


  • ROSIE AFTER WORK is a $34.95 value that we’re pricing at $29.95. And that’s a great deal. But our SPECIAL price is just $25. Click Here to See More Photos and to Order ROSIE AFTER WORK. We wear “The Bette” all the time. It is so cute. It has a Rosie the Riveter Employment Badge in the center — and that gets us lots of comments and compliments. We think you’ll love it too. And, of course, we have a zipper pull on our jackets, vests, and even a favorite backpack. Where will you put yours?


    Click Here to See More Photos and to Order ROSIE AFTER WORK.

    Gift Basket #2: ROSIE THE READER Rosie didn’t have television for her evenings at home. And obviously, she didn’t have computers, the Internet, Netflix, or any of the other fabulous forms of entertainment that we have. But she did have books; they were an important part of her life. And in the winter, she probably loved snuggling up under a soft blanket or throw. Maybe she sipped hot chocolate? Munched on a chocolate candy bar? Or perhaps she equally loved salty snacks and found roasted and salted almonds to be just the perfect treat.

    We’ve made it easy for you to give the ROSIE THE READER GIFT BASKET to a mother or daughter or best friend. It’s a perfect hostess gift when you’re invited to holiday parties. Take one to your friend’s home and surprise her with this holiday treat. Put one under the tree for your grandmother. No one will have it because we have just put it together. It gives you a great way to say, We Can Do It!…Pass It On!

    We were going to show you what it all looks like when we turned around and found that Kendra’s dearly loved and much played with Teddy had pulled our Rosie red and white polka dot throw around his shoulders, grabbed the Rosie’s Daughters memoir, and had already emptied Rosie’s red and white polka dot mug that we’d filled with hot chocolate and a miniature marshmallow. We never did find the chocolate bar or almonds. At least we captured a picture of Teddy before he fell asleep.








    Click Here for More Photos and to Order Gift Basket #2: Rosie the Reader

    WHAT YOU GET in Gift Basket #2: ROSIE THE READER

  • THE SOFTEST PLUSH RED-AND-WHITE POLKA DOT THROW. It’s a full 50 x 60″, which is big enough to let you really snuggle down. And it’s as soft as a baby’s favorite stuffed toy. The plush is really luxurious.
  • ROSIE’S LEGACY MUG with (you guessed it) red-and-white polka dots. And along the bottom, we added our motto: We Can Do It! Pass It On! This quality ceramic mug is perfect for coffee, tea or hot chocolate.
  • CHOCOLOVE PREMIUM DARK CHOCOLATE BAR WITH ALMONDS AND SEA SALT. At 55% pure cocoa, this is a real treat. And wait until you taste what almonds and sea salt do for chocolate. You usually can only find these bars at specialty natural food stores, but we went to the source and stocked up. Chocolove founder Timothy Moley has been making specialty chocolate in Boulder, Colorado, for the last 18 years.
  • BLUE DIAMOND ROASTED SALTED ALMONDS. Not just a bag of nuts. These are quality Blue Diamond almonds. And it pairs so nicely with the chocolate. This is one treat that you never need to feel guilty about either. Almonds are heart healthy and packed with energy.
  • ROSIE’S DAUGHTERS: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story. Once you are snuggled in by the fire, wrapped in your throw and sipping tea, you need a good book. Rosie’s Daughters is the award-winning collective memoir of the woman born during World War II to a generation of Rosie the Riveters. Rosies proved what women could do. Their daughters went on to set new records for women in sports, education, business, entertainment and government. Rosie’s Daughters have accomplished more firsts than any generation of women before or since.
  • All wrapped in a large cello bag and tied with beautiful ribbons. The gift is ready to give without any more work on your end.
  • And yes, even Free Priority Mail Shipping (within the US)


  • ROSIE THE READER is a $70.14 value that we’re pricing at $59.95. And that’s a great deal. A really great deal. But our SPECIAL price is just $49.95. Click Here for More Photos and to Order Gift Basket #2: Rosie the Reader


    I love the softness of the red and white polka dot throw and it looks great draped over the back of my reading chair when I’m up doing other things like filling my Rosie Legacy Mug with more green tea–a nice winter drink. This is a fabulous gift. Your friends and family will love receiving it. Of course, you might want to give hints to your favorite santa that you’d like to have one this holiday season.

    Click Here for More Photos and to Order Gift Basket #2: Rosie the Reader

    Gift Basket #3: ROSIE’S DOG GIFT BASKET. Did Rosie the Riveter have a dog? We’re not sure, but if she did, we think she might have named her Dot. She would have loved Dot just as much as you–or a friend or family member–love pets. Part of Rosie’s love was expressed by the way she fed her dog. And what is the best nutrition advice for pet owners? We think it is found in the pages of Dog Dish Diet: Sensible Nutrition for Your Dog’s Health This is a practical how-to book written by a veterinarian to keep your dog out of the vet’s office! Yes, many of the typical problems can be solved through proper nutrition. It’s all in this book. Since Rosie wore her bandana to work, we figure she tied an extra one around Dot’s neck.

    Click Here for More Photos and to Order Gift Basket #3: Rosie’s Dog Basket

    WHAT YOU GET in Gift Basket #3: ROSIE’S ULTIMATE DOGGIE BASKET

  • DR. GREG’S DOG DISH DIET: Sensible Nutrition for Your Dog’s Health. It’s a great story packed with illustrations and easy-to-understand explanations of the science behind his discovery. And step-by-step changes you can make to start a puppy off on the right paw, reverse years of ailments, help an older pet stay fit and trim. It’s such a sensible approach that’s easy to put into practice.
  • ROSIE THE RIVETER LEGACY BANDANA…for you or your dog. As you can see from the picture above, dogs stand out in their own Rosie the Riveter bandana.
  • A FESTIVE GIFT: The Rosie’s Dog Polka Dots gift basket is packed in a cute kraft paw print bag and dressed up with ribbons and cello wrap. And we’ll mail it this way to anyone on your shopping list. We even include a cute gift card and can sign it for you, if you like.
  • FREE SHIPPING. Yes, Priority Shipping is included.
  • SATISFACTION that you’ll be helping a few of the pets who are spending the holidays in a local shelter. We’re giving 10% of all sales to a no-kill shelter in Maine right now (called the Ark). As this program grows we’ll expand to other no-kill shelters.

  • FOR A LIMITED TIME, GET OUR ROSIE DOG GIFT BASKET (BOOK PLUS ROSIE BANDANA) FOR LESS THAN OUR POPULAR ROSIE THE RIVETER BANDANA ALONE!

    Order now. ROSIE’S Dog Gift Basket is a $39.95 VALUE that regularly sells for $25. We’re selling this gift basket for a limited time for just $19.95. Plus, it is ready to give in a beautiful gift bag.

    Click Here for More Photos and to Order Gift Basket #3: Rosie’s Dog Basket

    And remember, you’ll be helping abandoned animals at the same time–10% of all sales of Gift Basket #3: Rosie’s Dog Basket will be donated to a no-kill animal shelter in Maine (the Ark). Gifts that help animals. We think Rosie would have liked that idea.

    What’s Your Gift Budget for a Friend or Family Member?

    If $50, consider our Rosie the Reader Gift Basket. (This is a $70.14 value and will be available at this $49.95 price for a limited time.) We only have a few of these special red and white polka dot throws and we think you’ll really love the softness. The book, the chocolate, the mug, and the almonds along with the throw all add up to a fantastic gift.

    If $25, consider our Rosie After Work Gift. The HairLoom “The Bette” and the Rosie Employment Badge as zipper pull are a fabulous pair and sure to please the recipient. (This is a $34.95 value and is only available for a limited time at this special $25 price.)

    If less than $20 ($19.95) — Consider our Rosie’s Dog Basket. Perfect for pet owners and you’ll be helping provide for abandoned animals with the 10% donation to Maine’s no-kill animal shelter. It’s a gift that gives and gives. (This is a $39.95 value and is only available for a limited time at this $19.95 price.) You might want to get several of these — we just got an order for 7 from one woman — some going to her home to give in person and others shipped by us to family members.

    If $15 — Consider our Rosie the Riveter Employment Badge as Collar Pin or as Zipper Pull. Each of these is just $15 and comes tucked into cotton in a special red and white polka dot box tied with a lovely little gold ribbon and bow. And shipping is free. We’ll deliver to your gift recipient via Priority Mail or we’ll ship to you and you’ll have the fun of delivering the gift(s) in person. True, neither of these are actual gift baskets. But if you have limited funds or if you have several people you want to give the gift of Rosie’s message of “strength, courage, and empowerment,” or if you need a “Secret Santa” gift, this is absolutely perfect for you. Just tell us how many you want and we’ll get them right out to you.

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    He Helped Train Rosie the Riveter

    by Matilda Butler on November 12, 2013

    Post #56 - Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett

    We have a story, and the person behind the story, that we’d like to share today. As we all know, women entered the workforce during World War II as men joined the military. Sometimes they were hired a few at a time and sometimes in large numbers and that varied by year and by industry. They came to factories from farms and from the city. But few, if any, already had the training needed for their new wartime jobs. So an interesting question to ask is: Who trained them?

    Fortunately, one of our readers emailed us his story and with his permission, we are publishing it.

    BILL THOMAS: It may interest you to know I was one of the trainers of Rosie the Riveter. I worked at a plant in Detroit during 1942. There was only the foreman, 40 women, and me. And only being 18-19, I took a lot of “teasing” from the older women at my expense.

    ROSIE’S DAUGHTERS: We’re really interested to know that you helped train Rosies. I bet you actually liked the teasing.

    BILL THOMAS: I neglected to mention we worked at Fisher Body, a division of General Motors. The Rosies placed the rivets into the “nacelles” (the big aluminum ring) that covers the engines of the B-25 bombers. Our Rosies were the women who helped build that part of the bombers.

    As to the teasing, that was fun; but OH some of the stories they told… wow! would make sailors blush…
    And I blushed a lot when the so-called “cougars” came after a shy, naive teenager that I was. I’d say, “I’ve grown up a lot since then.”

    ROSIE’S DAUGHTERS: Thanks for the additional note. I love knowing the details of what the Rosies were doing.

    BILL THOMAS: I looked at the film where “the modern Rosie” is riding in a P-47. What a relic now, but that plane, plus many others, were very important and crucial in winning World War II.

    Here’s a little more of the back story. After a few weeks as a riveter at Fisher Body, I became the rivet repairman for anything that didn’t pass “inspection.” It was my job to drill out the failed rivet(s) and replace them. That means I understood what it took to have a good rivet.

    That’s what led to my job as the “Rosie Trainer.” We had new women employees constantly coming to work to replace the men as they left to enter the military services.

    And why wasn’t I in the military? The company kept getting military deferments for me without my knowledge because they wanted to keep me training new Rosies. But when my two closest buddies draft numbers came up, I decided to enlist so the three of us could serve together.

    The “brass” had other ideas. My friend Perry was sent to the Air Transport Command. He has died. My second friend, Bud, became an infantryman. He died in the “Battle of the Bulge.” I became a “forward observer” in an artillery battalion in N. Africa and western Europe.

    We racked up 565 days of combat time.

    ROSIE’S DAUGHTERS: At the end of our email exchange Bill wrote: “Sorry for the war story It just came out.” We hope that Bill will continue to tell his story just as we urge Rosie’s to tell theirs. We all need to hear them and appreciate them and pass them on to the younger generations. Thanks Bill.

    ROSIE’S DAUGHTERS: Happy Birthday, Bill. Congratulations on turning 90 today — November 12, 2013

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    Rosie the Riveter Still Going Strong at 93

    by kendra on September 18, 2013

    Post #53 - Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett

    This is quite a story. It appears in the Local section of the September 18, 2013, LA Times and is entitled: “At 93, This Rosie is Still Riveting.”

    Yes, Rosie the Riveter is as popular as ever. She’s reached the pinnacle of becoming an icon for women. The “We Can Do It!” poster resonates with generations of women–young, old and in between. She’s our role model for the strong, independent, empowered woman. And deservedly so. As Matilda Butler and I explain in our book Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story, the generation of WWII women factory workers and their counterparts working in offices, driving delivery trucks and the navigating the skies in cargo planes showed both men and future generations of women exactly what women could do. Everything!

    Well, now this story takes an interesting twist because at 93 Elinor Otto is still riveting at the same McDonald Douglass plant in San Diego where she started working in 1942. She loves life and adores working, and she wields a rivet gun on the assembly line building C-17 Globemaster transport planes. All I can say is may we all be as active when we get into our 80s and 90s. It’s quite a story.

    And I think it’s pretty cool that the story is told at this time of year. So many women enjoy dressing as Rosie the Riveter for Halloween. As we see from our bandana and Rosie gear accessory sales, many women are already thinking about their costumes. And this year, maybe we should all dress as Elinor the Riveter. She is a role model worth honoring.

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    Video: Rosie the Riveter Model Gets Ready for a Photo Shoot

    by kendra on September 11, 2013

    Post #52 - Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett

    This is a quick post because we want to share this cute video of the behind-the-scenes set up for a Rosie the Riveter photo shoot. It’s great fun. And yes, the model (Petunia Goldsmith) IS wearing one of our Rosie the Riveter Legacy Bandanas. She’s so perfect for this. Petunia completely captures the style of the 1940s. So enjoy.

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    Who Will You Be This Halloween? Let Rosie the Riveter Help You Decide.

    by kendra on September 6, 2013

    Post #51 - Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett

    There’s a nip in the air. Can you feel it? It’s slight. Ever so slight. But it’s there. We’re still weeks away from frost on the pumpkin, but the dew is heavier. And the nights are cooler. I don’t know about you, but I have a craving for a crisp McIntosh. And I’m looking forward to the smells of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg filling the house as my first pumpkin pie of the season bakes.

    All this can only mean one thing. Halloween is less than 60 days away. It’s time to start thinking costume. Are you in panic mode yet? Well this little video may help you:

    Whether your inspiration comes from the pumpkin patch or this video, Rosie the Riveter is always a good choice. Not only is Rosie a powerful icon for women but her costume is very affordable.

    All you need is a pair of blue jeans and a blue work shirt (some women go with a pair of blue coveralls instead). You’ll need some boots, loafers or sensible shoes although you could wear canvas hightop sneakers. And one woman decided to spice up her Rosie a bit by wearing red patent leather heels.

    And that’s another great thing about Rosie the Riveter. You can personalize your costume in so many ways. We receive so many wonderful photos from women who dress as Rosie for Halloween or other special events; we decided to create another video in order to use some of them:

    Rosie the Riveter is in the Accessories

    The fun of dressing up like Rosie the Riveter for Halloween (or any event) is in the details…the accessories. Here are a few that you’ll need:

    • Bright red lipstick
    • Rosie’s red-and-white polka dot bandana
    • Rosie’s official employment badge collar pin (she couldn’t get into the factory without it)
    • A few rivets to put in your pocket (in case people don’t know what Rosie was famous for)
    • A WWII ration book (Rosie never left home without hers)
    • The We Can Do It! poster (but without Rosie’s famous portrait…this one let’s you be the center of attention

    We created our DIY Rosie Kit to be the ultimate Rosie the Riveter Legacy Portrait Kit. It includes everything you need (except jeans, shirt, shoes and lipstick) for the perfect Rosie the Riveter Halloween costume.

    The perfect Rosie the Riveter accessory kit

    The perfect Rosie the Riveter accessory kit

    It even includes a couple fun additions. We created a great zipper pull that looks like Rosie’s employment badge collar pin. You can put it on your favorite jacket or vest to show your connection with Rosie every day. And we wrote a little cookbook that will give you an idea of how people cooked and ate back during WWII when so many things were either rationed or just not available.

    So, who will you be this Halloween? Rosie has your answer!

    And One More Thing

    Actually, make that two. First, we’ve started a Pinterest board for Rosie the Riveter and all the women who enjoy dressing as Rosie. Hope you’ll check it out. We named it Rosie’s Bandana
    .

    And second, we saw a great idea (on Pinterest) for incorporating your We Can Do It poster into your costume. Glue the poster to some heavy cardboard or foam core board, which you can get at the craft store. Then cut four holes toward the bottom and run a ribbon through the two on the right and the another ribbon through the two on the left. Tie the ribbons around your arms (up by your shoulder) and you can wear the sign behind you.

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    Appreciation Shown for a Modern Day Rosie

    by Matilda Butler on August 16, 2013

    Post #50 - Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett

    A Modern Day Rosie the Riveter

    Kendra and I love hearing stories of women who remind us of the strength and courage that Rosie the Riveter represents. We recently received the following and decided to share it with you.

    Dixie

    by Rebecca Wallace

    My best friend is celebrating her 40th birthday in a few days. Because of the dynamic individual she is, I bought her a Rosie Legacy Bandana and shirt. I don’t have a picture of her wearing her outfit yet, but I wanted to share with you why she epitomizes your motto–strength, courage, and empowerment.

    Dixie is the dedicated mother of five children, ranging in age from 8 to 17. She is the supportive wife of an active duty Air Force Major, whose career has moved the family several times, and has taken him away from home frequently. One especially challenging assignment had him gone for 220 days a year for four straight years. Often alone, Dixie’s strength held their expanding family together during that time. Her patriotism, sacrifice, and commitment to our nation’s freedom is inspiring.

    As is typical of Dixie, she does not shirk work. Presently, she serves as the head of a large children’s organization at church, with responsibility for over 100 children, a Cub Scout program, a girl’s activities program, and a large volunteer staff of teachers and leaders. This is an unpaid church assignment which consumes a good deal of her time, but one which capitalizes on her excellent administrative abilities.

    Dixie’s hands are never idle. She owns an embroidery business, which she operates from her home. Late into the night, lights can be seen illuminating her studio where project after project is brought to completion. Somehow she finds the time to garden and tend flower beds, which with her care have blossomed here in the desert Southwest–no small feat.

    I don’t remember a day going by when Dixie hasn’t taken a meal to someone in need, or dropped off homemade bread or cookies, or cared for children, or cut hair, or helped with homework, or provided rides, or refinished furniture, or rendered First Aid–her list of daily accomplishments and service to others is seemingly endless. She meets each day with courage and purpose.

    Naturally modest, Dixie would never tell you any of these things, nor find them extraordinary. She sees what must be done, and DOES IT! In our day, where people are more interested in entitlement than empowerment, Dixie is a reminder of the legacy of Rosie the Riveter.

    We Agree

    Dixie, thanks for all you do to make this a better place for your family and for others. We think Rosie the Riveter would be proud of you and delighted to see you in your Rosie the Riveter Legacy Bandana.

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    Halloween Costumes: Just Around the Corner

    by Matilda Butler on August 1, 2013

    Post #49 - Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett

    Rosie the Riveter and Halloween

    Kendra and I were talking about Halloween the other day and realized that it soon will be time for everyone to start planning their costumes. So Kendra came up with this cute video — only 30 seconds and fun. In the coming months and days before Halloween, Kendra will be creating some more videos. Hope you like them.

    But what about all the World War II Rosies? Who did Rosie dress as during the war? We did some research and found out something we should have been able to figure out on our own. You see, Halloween had been growing in popularity in the U.S. beginning early in the 20th century. Then World War II came along and by April 1942, sugar was rationed. Rosie and her friends couldn’t just go to Costco or Sam’s Club or Walmart to purchase big bags of candies to hand out. They made the treats that they gave out. So, with the supply of sugar restricted, Halloween’s popularity dropped. Rosie didn’t have the sugar or the time to cook a lot of cookies or candies. Sure there were still some parties, but it was a more subdued celebration. However, once sugar rationing ended in June of 1947, the popularity of Halloween began to ratchet up again.

    I don’t know about you, but we’re seeing the growing number of women who reject the skimpy costumes designed primarily to reveal their bodies and the expensive costumes that will only be worn once. Instead, so many are going as Rosie the Riveter — a fun and inexpensive costume. The red-and-white polka dot bandana can be used all year long. Who wears a fake tiara or wig in the days and months after Halloween?

    So we hope you’ll join us and the large number of other women who are going as Rosie this Halloween. By the way, last year we introduced our Rosie the Riveter DIY Portrait kit and it was wildly popular for Halloween. It comes complete with everything you need to be Rosie. Just don the Rosie Gear, pose in front of the Portrait Background Poster, and snap your picture. This is great for classrooms, office parties, gatherings of friends, senior centers, …just about any place.

    Here’s Jessica Ross, “Doing the Rosie” in front of her DIY Portrait Background Poster.

  • Rosie “We Can Do It!” Portrait Background Poster (24″ x 32″)
  • Authentic Rosie the Riveter Legacy Bandana (27″ x 27″)
  • Rosie the Riveter Employment Badge Collar Pin
  • Rosie the Riveter Employment Badge Zipper Pull
  • Rosie’s Rivets and Polka-Dot Bag (pretty organza bag filled with real metal rivets)
  • Rosie the Riveter Legacy Cookbook (recipes popular during the war years)
  • Rosie’s War Ration Book (because Rosie never left home without hers)
  • Heavy-duty cardboard mailing tube and shipping label (making this a great gift for a mother, daughter, granddaughter or dear friend)
  • Casie Ziegler showing the strength of women

    Casie Ziegler. Never underestimate the power of a woman.

    Have a precious little girl in your family? Someone you want to know that she has courage, strength, and empowerment? Then we think you’ll love this photo of Casie “Doing the Rosie” in front of the poster her mother bought for her.

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    A Rosie the Riveter Takes Aim During Reading Air Show’s WWII Weekend 2013

    by Matilda Butler on July 17, 2013

    Post #48 - Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett

    Rosie the Riveter Reenactor

    Kendra and I fill orders from our Rosie the Riveter Legacy Gear all year around. Of course, Halloween is our busiest time, but there are so many other reasons and occasions to wear the Rosie bandana, Rosie employment pin and Rosie zipper pull, to sip coffee or tea from our Rosie red and white polka dot mug, to pose in front of our DIY Rosie Poster, etc.

    And we sometimes get an email to let us know how our Rosie the Riveter products are used. Last night, I got a wonderful email from Ken C. He purchased our red and white polka dot bandana as a surprise for Celia C. Here’s his note:

    Fortunately, I was able to surprise Celia. She didn’t know she was attending [the Reading, Pennsylvania Air Show's WWII Weekend] as a reenactor until we were in the hotel room the night before the event and I gave her all the stuff to wear. I even made a custom ID badge for her. It has her picture and “North American Aviation 1943.”

    Celia standing by B-25 Mitchell Yankee Warrior

    Celia standing by B-25 Mitchell Yankee Warrior

    This was Celia’s first time at Reading and she was worried that no one would know who she was supposed to be. But from the minute she set foot on the airfield she was immediately referred to as “Rosie” by everyone from little kids to WWII veterans.

    The group we were with had a Browning machine gun that they allowed her to fire during a demonstration. It was the first time she ever fired a gun (go figure).

    Thank you for your assistance in making a great weekend for both of us.

    Kendra and I loved the video and thought we’d share it with you. Celia’s expression is priceless.

    Thanks Ken for sending us the photo and video and for letting us see one of our Rosie the Riveter bandanas used in a reenactment.

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    The Real Memorial Day

    by kendra on May 30, 2013

    Post #47 - Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett

    On May 25 -27, Americans celebrated Memorial Day with a three-day long weekend. Memorial Day has become our unofficial start of summer. Backyard barbecues are fired up, retailers tantalize customers with sales, children start counting the days until school is out, and the owners of seasonal businesses pray for warm, sunny weather.

    But lest we forget, Memorial Day has far more serious roots. Its origins, while a little cloudy, seem to lie with women in the south spontaneously decorating the graves of their Civil War fallen–hence what was first known as Decoration Day. In 1868, General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, officially proclaimed the day. And on May 30 of that year, they decorated the graves of soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery (both Union and Confederate). Within a few years, states were joining in, honoring all American soldiers who had made the ultimate sacrifice.

    By 1882, Memorial Day began to creep into the language although it didn’t become common until after the Second World War. Also in the twentieth century, that remembrance expanded to include the fallen of all American wars. After World War I, President Wilson proclaimed November 11th to be Veterans Day to honor all who have served, reserving Memorial Day for those who gave the “last full measure of devotion,” a phrase that comes to us from President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Incidentally, November 11th is significant because in 1918 World War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

    But our officials were not finished. On May 26, 1966, President Johnson named Waterloo, New York, to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, also making Memorial Day the official name. And the following year, as part of legislation to make several long weekends of Federal holidays, Congress moved the date from May 30th to the last Monday in May…although Waterloo, New York, still celebrates Memorial Day on May 30th.

    Not everyone is happy with the decision to move Memorial Day, and from time to time resolutions and petitions are presented in an effort to return Memorial Day to its original date. But these are mostly symbolic efforts.

    This year, Danville Paint & Decorating in Danville, California, posted a series of four articles on its Facebook page. Along with a sale of Benjamin Moore paint, the owners DeWayne and Barbara Ryan honored the fallen but also made reference to Rosie the Riveter. You’ll find a couple interesting posts about the role of Rosie serving on the California home front. It’s interesting to note that with World War II coming on the heels of The Great Depression, the gearing up to manufacture planes, boats, vehicles and ammunition is often seen as a Second Gold Rush for the state.

    And there’s another interesting tidbit in these posts. Apparently Ryan’s father who had been 4-F and didn’t serve on the front lines signed up to work at the San Diego plant of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation. There he trained the Rosies to rivet. Vern Ryan, who is now 95, said that among his crew of hard-working women was a team of riveter and bucker who were faster than any other.

    This all serves as a reminder. It doesn’t matter if we celebrate with hamburgers on the grill, a beach holiday or a trip to the mall to cash in on bargains…as long as we take a moment to remember the men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedom. And if you want to include a nod to Rosie the Riveter, well that’s okay too. Just as long as you know the real meaning of Memorial Day and never forget.

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    Rosie the Riveter Bandana Rosie's Daughters: The 'First Woman To' Generation Tells its Story - RosiesDaughters.com