Everyone knows that Rosie the Riveter is one of the most iconic images of the 20th Century. Rosie was first a symbol for women called to work in America's factories during World War II, and later the rallying cry of all women seeking equal rights.
But did you know that Rosie the Riveter is a Kentucky girl?
Rose Will Monroe was born in the tiny Pulaski County community of Bobtown in 1920. By the 1940s, she was a young widow with two daughters, living in the Detroit area. Rose was called not only by her patriotic duty but also by the very real need to support her family. Soon, she was building B-29 bombers at the Willow Run Aircraft Factory, a former Ford Motor factory.
Rose was chosen as the "face" of Rosie the Riveter for a promotional film about the purchase of war bonds, following the popularity of a song of the same name.
After the War, Rose continued to work hard, defy stereotypes, and follow her dreams. She challenged gender stereotypes by continuing to work in traditionally male-dominated fields. Over the years, she drove a cab and founded her own construction company. Rose also fulfilled a lifelong dream of learning to fly, earning her pilot's license in her 50s.
Like many other women of her era, Rose Will Monroe found her calling through necessity. Her "Can Do" attitude made her Rosie the Riveter.