On Saturday, October 14th, I was part of a group of women who came together to set the record for the most women dressed as Rosie the Riveter in one place.
To give a little background, there’s a friendly competition between my group of Rosies here in Ypsilanti/Willow Run and a group in Richmond, California.
You see, the original Rosie the Riveter, Rose Monroe, worked at the Willow Run Bomber Planet located here in Ypsilanti. The Yankee Air Museum has saved a portion of that old bomber plant from being torn down and is now in the process of renovating it into a new space for the museum. My group of Rosies wants the world record to stay here in Ypsilanti because that’s where Rose Monroe worked.
California, on the other hand, has the “Rosie the Riveter/World War II Homefront National Historical Park”, so their group wants to keep the world record there for that reason. It’s been a completely friendly competition back and forth for the last few years.
It all started in 2014 when the group that I’m now a part of set a world record of 760+ women. In the summer of 2015, California took that record away with their gathering of almost 1100 women. Their record didn’t last long. In October 2015, myself and the group I’m a part of took back the record with 2096 Rosies, including 21 Original Rosies (women who actually worked in the factories in WWII)! California took our record away in 2016 with just over 2200 Rosies.
We took it back on Saturday the 14th. The new record is 3755 Rosies!! AND we set a record for the number of original Rosies in one place with 55. It was so much fun! Our youngest Rosie was 6 weeks old and our oldest Rosie was 110! We even sent a video to the group in Richmond saying “Willow Run loves Richmond but Willow Run WINS!”
I volunteered to work one of the clothing tables during the beginning of the event. Because this is going in the Guinness Book of World Records there are some very specific requirements. The biggest thing people had trouble with were finding red socks and finding bandannas with the right size white dots (dots much be bigger than a dime). I was selling socks and bandannas along with a few other ladies.
It was fun to watch ladies of all different ages and races come in dressed as Rosie the Riveter. Every time an original Rosie would come through the crowd, everyone would cheer for them. These were the women who kept our servicemen supplied with bombers and tanks and guns during World War II. They were just as integral to winning the war as the men and women serving in the armed forces during the war.
I even got myself a pair of boots to use (last time I used my dad’s boots and just darkened ’em with shoe polish) so that I can join the Tribute Rosies and do things like be at the air show, do parades, etc. as Rosie. 🙂
I didn’t get to take a LOT of pictures since I was volunteering, but enjoy the ones I did take! Forgive me for the quality of some of these, my tremor was acting up that day and my phone doesn’t have the stabilization that my good camera has.
It was a great day, though VERY tiring! It took me about 3-4 days to recover! On one hand, I hope it takes California a long time to beat our record, but on the other hand, it’s so much fun, that I kind of hope that it doesn’t. hehe.
We even had Uncle Sam & Waldo visiting with us!!