Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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November 28th
Rosie the Riveter
On November 28, 1942, during World War II, the assembly line at Ford Motor Company’s huge Willow Run plant at Ypsilanti, Michigan, turned out its first production bomber, a B-24 Liberator. By the time the plant reached its peak, in summer 1944, it was producing a bomber an hour – thanks in no small part to Rosie the Riveter.

With so many men fighting overseas, war factories across the United States faced a critical labor shortage. Posters bearing slogans such as “Do the Job He Left Behind” and “Soldiers Without Guns” appealed for women workers. Millions of American women who had never worked outside the home traded aprons for overalls and went to work in the factories.

Soon they were tackling jobs only men had done before. They learned welding, drafting, and sheet-metal work to build airplanes, Jeeps, and ships. They packed ammo and tested guns, worked in lumber and steel mills, drove trucks, operated cranes, and more.

The women often worked six days a week, giving up vacations and holidays as long as the war dragged on. They put up with noisy, gritty working conditions and then, in the evening, many trudged home to take care of their children. All the while, they reminded themselves that their sacrifices would shorten the war and bring loved ones home.

An admiring public nicknamed the women defense workers “Rosie the Riveter.” Their tough resourcefulness helped transform America into the arsenal of democracy.

American History Parade
1775
Captain Samuel Nicholas becomes the first officer commissioned in the Continental Marines (now the U.S. Marine Corps).

1895
The first auto race in the U.S. takes place, 52 miles between Chicago and Waukegan, Illinois, with winner Frank Duryea averaging a speed of 7.5 miles per hour.

1919
Lady Nancy Astor, born in Danville, Virginia, becomes the first woman elected to the British Parliament.

1925
The Grand Ole Opry makes its radio debut on WSM in Nashville.

1942
Ford’s Willow Run plant in Michigan rolls out its first B-24 bomber.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
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