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Dingell Celebrates House Passage of Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Act

Washington, November 13, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed legislation, supported by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI), to award the Congressional Gold Medal to “Rosie the Riveter,” the iconic women who went to work during World War II and redefined the role of women in the workplace.

“Rosie the Riveter is an important symbol for me and her picture hangs in all three of my offices,” said Dingell. “More than 6 million Rosies went to work to support the war effort during World War II, including more than 40,000 employed at Willow Run in Ypsilanti. With grace and gusto, these women entered the workforce and redefined the role of the American woman. Awarding Rose the Riveter the Congressional Gold Medal recognizes their important contributions. We need to preserve our history and remember that we all have the power to do something more for our community and our country.”

Rosie the Riveter was a real woman, Rose Will Monroe, who worked at the Willow Run Aircraft Factory in Ypsilanti building B-24 bombers for the US Air Force. Another Michigan factory worker, Geraldine Hoff Doyle, was depicted in the now-famous poster. In 2017, Dingell and area women reclaimed the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Rosie the Riveter,” including several original Rosies who worked at the plant.  

At the peak of its production during World War II, the Willow Run Plant employed 42,000 workers, as much as one-third of whom were pioneering women industrial workers, collectively nicknamed “Rosie the Riveter.” Willow Run produced more aircraft every month on its mile-long assembly line than Imperial Japan did in a year, earning it, and the area surrounding southeast Michigan, worldwide fame as the center of America’s “Arsenal of Democracy.” The nationwide American “Production Miracle,” of which Willow Run was the finest and most ambitious example, was a critical factor in ending the deadliest conflict in history.

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