The Rosie the Riveter Movement

Creating projects that pull America together

What We Do

The number of women who worked on the home front during World War II equaled the number of men who served in the military. Rosie the Riveters or “Rosies” pulled together to do highest-quality work, fast, for the cause of freedom and to end the war.

Over 70 years, these women and their contributions have been largely unknown in their communities, America, and other nations. Thus, Thanks! Plain and Simple have devoted seven years to finding, learning and working with Rosies. As one Rosie put it, “We pulled together then. We can do it again. It’s our only hope.”

The Mission Statement of Thanks! Plain and Simple:

To create and guide people to pull together to do real work that upholds and advances America’s basic principles.

The example of work that “Thanks!” focuses on currently is the Rosie the Riveter Project which is supposed to find, get to know and work with Rosies to develop easily replicable projects that any American community can do on its own. “Thanks!” supports, advises and recommends to any community that wants to engage in any of the proven projects.

Basics to Rosie the Riveter Project work are:

  1. People want to “do something” that is meaningful to them and others;
  2. People don’t know how to start; and, once they start, they don’t know how to work with problems that arise;
  3. People learn better when they “do something” than when they simply read, talk or watch others;
  4. People want to know Rosies, plan work with Rosies and others, and do the work to create lasting evidence that Rosies were right when they said during the war: “We pull better, when we pull together.”

“Thanks!” helps people with each of these. We have grown from doing projects with Rosies and their communities to developing a program that is made up of many projects. Now, we are preparing to launch the International Rosie the Riveter Movement.

It’s a huge job. Worse, time is almost gone. Yet, even though we are a small and underfunded, we are succeeding. Why? Because people want to work together to do the right thing and do it well. More important, people are inspired when they discover that “Rosies” are incredible people who have made huge contributions based on the belief that human beings can do better together.

At this time, approximately 20 Rosie projects have been proven and each is repeatable in different locations. Thus, our process is considered as a model. As we guide others to “Know a Rosie and grow America’s promise,” we strive to continuously improve our process, including to find, interview and present Rosies to the public.

This PowerPoint presentation shows how we involve Rosies. As you watch it, think about what you can to find and learn from Rosies in your own community.

Examples of proven projects:

  1. Named the first government building “Rosie the Riveter Building”, two bridges (one interstate) “Rosie the Riveter Bridge”, a room in an international hostel the “Rosie the Riveter Room”
  2. Created the only quilt that Rosie the Riveters have designed
  3. Developed and completed the first park that Rosie the Riveters completely planned and implemented
  4. Created two Rosie the Riveter songs, one which is a “wrap around” for the documentary film
  5. Proposed and completed a documentary film called “Rosie the Riveters then and Now”, paid for in part by the West Virginia Humanities Council, and released in 2011
  6. Completed approximately 60 interviews, some of which have been transcribed and are in various museums and libraries
  7. To have invited two Allied Nations to thank American Rosie the Riveters for the first time (Belgium in 2009, Great Britain in 2010)
  8. Completed two thirds of a book contributed to by 26 Rosies
  9. Hosted by three Dutch entities (The Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, DC in 2015, the National Liberation Museum 1944-45 in Groesbeek, Netherlands in 2015, and the King and Queen of Netherlands at Arlington Cemetery in 2015)
  10. Developed questions and protocol for interviewing Rosie the Riveters to have started lesson plans for public school at 6th grade level
  11. Planted pink dogwood trees after Rosies chose the dogwood ate as the species best represents them (plantings occurred from 2010 to 2015)
  12. Planned two simultaneous events in Europe in America (planting of dogwood trees in 2015 and 2016; ringing bells to awaken the public to importance of Rosies in 2016 on Labor Day)
  13. Installed bluebird nest boxes with “Rosies” in West Virginia and Maryland (bluebirds represented hope to Rosies during WWII)
  14. Filmed Rosies with WWII veterans (Woody Williams, war historian Ken Heckler) in order to compare the experiences of WWII veterans and Rosies.
  15. Arranged for Rosie the Riveters to go into schools in numerous states
  16. Guided Rosies to give speeches at historic events (e.g., the National Liberation Museum 1944-45 in 2015; the World War II Memorial in Washington in 2014, at the Netherlands Carillon in Washington in 2016; at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia in 2016).
  17. Created monuments and markers in places where Rosies have congregated
  18. Created art by children and adults, some of which is used in advertising.

“Thanks!” has also guided several persons and organizations to the level of being awarded a title of “model,” including:

  1. Jay Wertz, recognized author of World War II books, based on interviews of veterans (from Los Angeles)
  2. The City of Brunswick, MD for consistent high-quality work with living Rosies on various projects
  3. Charleston Gold Dome Lions Club for consistent high-quality work with several Rosie the Riveters (in WV)
  4. Hugo Keesing, Ph. D. for being the first international scholar and volunteer and facilitator of much work with people of the Netherlands (from MD)
  5. Tim Wilson for consistent volunteerism in Eastern Maryland (from MD)
  6. WV American Legion for consistent work to encourage cooperation between Rosies and veterans (WV)
  7. Lt. Col. Ceryl Johns, British-born son of a Rosie who brought his mother from Wales twice to help plant the first tree and be in a parade, then, after her death, he spoke at two major events (from SC).

Launching the International Rosie the Riveter Movement

Some ways you can participate are to help with: