User Login    
 + Register
PDQ Cleaning
News : Time Running Short To Save Rosie's Plant
Posted by Randy on 2014/4/29 4:51:35 (323 reads) News by the same author

YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- Loraine Osborne is a Rosie. She isn't THE Rosie, but she worked as a riveter at the Willow Run bomber plant in Michigan alongside Rose Will Monroe, the inspiration for a character that came to symbolize female empowerment and the we're-all-in-this-together spirit of the American homefront during World War II.
Click to see original Image in a new window

Thousands of Rosie the Riveters were there when their country needed them. Now, Rosie is the one who needs help.

All that stands between her old plant and the wrecking ball is two days and $1 million.

A group trying to save a slice of the factory west of Detroit raised $7 million, but it needs $8 million and has until Thursday to make that happen. If the Save the Bomber Plant campaign fails, a piece of U.S. history will be lost forever.

Osborne says that would be a shame.

"It should be taken care of so that everybody - our children, our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren - can enjoy it as the years go by," said the Kentucky transplant whose brother and sister and their spouses worked at the facility in Ypsilanti Township, Mich.

From 1942 to 1945, Osborne and a cast of tens of thousands built roughly one B-24 Liberator an hour and 8,685 in all.

"It was really important to get those planes out so they could save people's lives," said Osborne, who met her future husband at the plant and stopped riveting long enough to get married.

She lived in government housing near the massive plant that was built by Ford Motor Co. and featured a mile-long assembly line.

Although women performed what had been male-dominated roles in plants all over the country during the war, it was Monroe, who was one of an untold number of women in the Willow Run plant's 40,000-person workforce, who caught the eye of Hollywood producers casting a "riveter" for a government film about the war effort at home.

Monroe, a Kentucky native who moved to Michigan during the war, starred as herself in the film and became one of the best-known figures of that era. She represented the thousands of Rosies who took factory jobs making munitions, weaponry and other things while the nation's men were off fighting in Europe and the Pacific.

Although many Rosies were let go once the war was over and the soldiers returned home, they had shown that women were capable of doing jobs that had traditionally been done by only men. An illustrated poster of a determined-looking Rosie the Riveter rolling up her sleeve with the slogan "We can do it!" became an iconic symbol of female empowerment for American women.

The Willow Run factory transitioned to producing automobiles after the war ended, and it continued to make them as well as parts for more than a half-century under the General Motors name before closing for good in 2010.

Now, the plant is coming down in part to make way for a connected vehicle research center.

The Save the Bomber campaign wants to separate and preserve more than 150,000 square feet of the plant and convert it into a new, expanded home for the Yankee Air Museum, which would move from its current location less than two miles away.

The site's manager, a trust set up to oversee properties owned by a pre-bankruptcy GM, has given the group a number of extensions, but there won't be any more. Demolition already is underway on other parts of the plant.

"Time is really short on this," said Dennis Norton, the president of the Michigan Aerospace Foundation and one of the leaders of the effort to save the plant. "We need people to help, but I honestly think we're going to make it."

Norton and his colleagues aren't going down without a fight.

In addition to working the phones and giving potential donors flights in vintage aircraft, they recently hosted a pair of fundraising events, including a "bomber buffing" party in which area residents polished planes.

Osborne embodies the Save The Bomber Plant effort.

The 88-year-old, who worked at an area Ford plant for three decades after the war, shows up at Willow Run-related events from time to time, often while wearing Rosie's trademark red bandanna with white polka dots.

"I don't let anything stop me, because my mother taught us, `As long as you can put one foot in front of the other, you can go,'" she said.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2014/10/22 6:42:06 - Missouri Livestock Symposium To Be Held In Kirksville December 5th
2014/10/22 4:52:49 - Dead Babies In Winnipeg Storage Unit 'Tragic Beyond Belief'
2014/10/22 4:43:12 - Two Sunken Vessels From World War II Were Just Found Off The North Carolina Coast
2014/10/22 4:34:36 - Partial Solar Eclipse to Darken US Skies Thursday
2014/10/22 4:26:06 - Homeless Man Victim Of Knock-Out Game Attack
2014/10/22 4:23:10 - Missouri Officer Charged In $37,000 Theft
2014/10/22 4:19:06 - Man Arrested For Rape At Hospital Where Victim Being Treated
2014/10/22 4:10:43 - Trenton Resident Arrested On Probation Violation Charge
2014/10/22 4:00:45 - Area Students To Receive American FFA Degree
2014/10/22 3:54:25 - Missouri Community Betterment Awards Presented At Banquet
2014/10/21 10:53:20 - Missouri Chomps Listless Florida, 42-13
2014/10/21 10:51:08 - Local Dream Factory Organization Raises 7 Thousand Dollars
2014/10/21 10:50:28 - KC Chiefs Grab Huge AFC West Win In San Diego
2014/10/21 10:50:00 - For First Time Since '85, World Series Returns To Kansas City
2014/10/21 10:46:38 - Firefighters Respond To RV Fire In Trenton
2014/10/21 10:43:58 - Two Jamesport Teens Injured In Saturday Wreck
2014/10/21 10:40:52 - Personal Body Cameras For Trenton Police Department Topic Of Open Line
2014/10/21 10:35:17 - Wright Memorial Hospital To Hold Sale At Old Hospital
2014/10/21 8:50:00 - Trenton Rallies For Win #2 At Concordia
2014/10/21 8:36:22 - State Champion Jefferson Eagles Have Four All-Staters
2014/10/21 8:20:56 - HDC Champion Winston Places Four Boys On First Team
2014/10/21 8:03:04 - Grand River Co-Champion Gallatin Bulldogs Place Three On Softball First Team
2014/10/21 7:48:21 - Trenton Lady Bulldogs Receive Six All-District Selections
2014/10/21 7:36:49 - Class 2 Quarterfinalist Brookfield Receives Postseason Awards
2014/10/21 4:36:33 - Airbag Defect Spurs Recall Of 4.7 Million Vehicles
2014/10/21 4:25:36 - Dish Loses 7 Channels In Contract Dispute With Turner Broadcasting
2014/10/21 4:20:59 - Survey Prompts Complaints By Missouri Parents
2014/10/21 4:15:49 - 13 Injured In Missouri School Bus Collision
2014/10/21 4:12:44 - State Sen. Nasheed Arrested At Protest In Ferguson
2014/10/21 4:02:26 - Democrats Love Seeing Minimum Wage On The Ballot



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM