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U.S. Secretary of Labor and Special Guests Honor the “Rosies”

The U.S. Department of Labor released a video of the Hall of Honor induction ceremony for “The Rosies – Women Riveters, Welders & World War II Industry Workers.”

Joining U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia in honoring the “Rosies” were special guests including First Lady of the United States Melania Trump, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, Solicitor of Labor Kate O’Scannlain and Women’s Bureau Director Laurie Todd-Smith.

A Rosie, June Robbins of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area, visited the Hall of Honor and offered acceptance remarks on behalf of all Rosies. Robbins served as a drafter at the Philadelphia Navy Yard during World War II.  Secretary Scalia greeted her on her visit to the Department. 

“The grit, resolve, and know-how displayed by the Rosies in the war effort continue to provide inspiration today,” said Secretary Eugene Scalia. “I want to thank the Rosies for their significant contributions to the way we think about women in the workplace. I’d also like to thank First Lady Melania Trump, Secretary Elaine L. Chao, and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump for joining the Department of Labor in this important celebration of women trailblazers.”

“For 100 years, the Women’s Bureau has been working on behalf of working women, and the Rosies are the embodiment of that work and deserve this honor,” said Women’s Bureau Director Laurie Todd-Smith. “Through their commitment and achievement, these women set examples for future generations that women could succeed in every industry.”

The name “Rosie” came from Rosalind Walter, who went to work in a Corsair factory in 1942. Rosie became a household name due to the famous, archetypical depictions of Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell in the Saturday Evening Post and due to J. Howard Miller’s famous “We Can Do It!” poster commissioned by Westinghouse. The Rosies played an instrumental role in winning World War II.

Most surviving Rosies were born in the 1920s, and served the war effort during their late teens or early 20s, although many women already in their 30s or 40s also worked during the war. It is estimated that between 5 and 7 million women held war industry jobs during World War II, increasing the female work force to about 19 million.

To view the video of the Hall of Honor please click here.

The Department of Labor’s Hall of Honor was established in 1988 to honor Americans whose distinctive contributions have elevated working conditions, wages, and overall quality of life for American families.

To learn more about the Women’s Bureau and their 100th Anniversary celebration visit www.dol.gov/wb.

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