Rosie the Riveter in Long Beach

Rosie the Riveter in Long Beach

During WWII, an unprecedented number of women took jobs at aircraft plants, shipyards, munitions factories, and other concerns across the nation to produce material essential to winning the war.

Affectionately and collectively called "Rosie the Riveter" after a popular 1943 song, thousands of these women came to the US Army financed Douglas Aircraft Plant in Long Beach, California, the largest wartime plane manufacturer, to help produce an astonishing number of the aircraft used in the war.

They riveted, welded, assembled and installed, doing man-sized jobs, making attack bombers, other war birds and cargo transports. They trained at Long Beach City Schools and worked 8 and 10 hour shifts in a windowless, bomb-proof plant.

Their children attended Long Beach Day Nursery and their households ran on rations and victory gardens. When the men cam home after the war ended, most of these resilient women lost their jobs.

Long Beach city former councilwoman and author Gerrie Schipske has taught Women's Studies at CSULB. Many rare images in this evocative look at an extraordinary group of American women came from her research to establish Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center in 2006 on 3 acres beside the former Douglas Aircraft Plant in Long Beach. Also check out: