January 23, 2013 - The term "Rosie the Riveter" can be traced back to a 1942 hit song recorded by popular big band leader Kay Kyser. In the song Rosie is portrayed as a hard-working assembly line worker who's doing her part to aid America's home-front efforts during World War II.
The song was inspired by a New York philanthropist named Rosalind P. Walter. Even though she came from old money, Walter worked the night shift as a riveter helping to build fighter planes.
But the Rosie the Riveter icon became closely associated with another real woman named Rose Will Monroe.
She moved to Michigan during WWII after her husband was killed in a car accident and left her with two young children to support.
Monroe became a riveter at the Willow Run Aircraft Factory in Ypsilanti, where she helped build B-24 bombers. Because she fit the description of the worker depicted in Kyser's song, she was asked to star in a promotional film highlighting the war effort at home.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.