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Rosie The Riveters Still Going Strong

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World War II ended almost 70 years ago, in the spring and summer of 1945. When it started, even before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, defense factories in Baltimore were gearing up.  Fifty-four thousand workers labored at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company in Middle River during the war – and 30 percent of them were women, including Rosie the Riveters who became a symbol of women’s contributions to the war effort.  We speak with Debi Wynn, coordinator of the Baltimore Chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association, and Grace Henninger, who went to work as a riveter at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company in Middle River in October 1944.

On Sunday, March 15, at 2 pm several Rosies will recall their World War II experience in a panel discussion at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Hwy, Baltimore, MD 21230 .   

The event is presented in partnership with the Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum as part of the Warfront to Homefront: WWII in Maryland, a  coalition of Maryland museums, cultural and educational institutions, and civic groups working together to commemorate Maryland’s participation in World War II and to promote public awareness of local history and the importance of preserving it. 

On Friday, March 20, actress Rhonda Robinson will dramatize the stories of African-American women defense workers in a presentation called “Hazel Grisham: The Other Rosie the Riveter.”  Noon to 1 pm at Baltimore City Hall. 

On Saturday May 16 the aviation museum in Middle River is asking Rosies, veterans and their families to come to Rosie the Riveter Day. It will include a Rosie recognition ceremony at noon, a baking contest of cakes made without sugar (if you’re out of rationing coupons), re-enactors, World War II aircraft, and an attempt to surpass the Guinness Book of World Records number of the biggest gathering dressed as Rosies. 

More of our conversation with Debi Wynn and Grace Henninger below: 

C_Web_Extra_Rosie_0311.mp3

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.