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"Rosie The Riveter" Has Died

Obituaries Geraldine Doyle Rosie the Riveter WWII 2010

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#1 DWF

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 10:50 AM

http://www.boston.co...riveter_poster/

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Geraldine Doyle, who as a 17-year-old factory worker became the inspiration for a popular World War II recruitment poster that evoked female power and independence under the slogan “We Can Do It!,’’ died Dec. 26 at a hospice in Lansing, Mich. She was 86.

Her daughter, Stephanie Gregg, said the cause of death was complications from severe arthritis.

For millions of Americans throughout the decades since World War II, the stunning brunette in the red and white polka-dot bandanna was Rosie the Riveter.

Rosie’s rolled-up sleeves and flexed right arm came to represent the newfound strength of the 18 million women who worked during the war and later made her a figure of the feminist movement.

But the woman in the patriotic poster was never named Rosie, nor was she a riveter. All along it was Mrs. Doyle, who after graduating from high school in Ann Arbor, Mich., took a job at a metal factory, her family said.

One day, a photographer for United Press International came to her factory and captured Mrs. Doyle leaning over a piece of machinery and wearing a red and white polka-dot bandanna over her hair.

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#2 Nonny

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 01:50 PM

Rest in peace.  

My mom was one of those 18 million women.  She worked as an inspector in a plant that made aircraft parts.  I knew growing up that she worked as an inspector, but didn't know until a few weeks before she died how she got the job.  She had just gotten home from the hospital, was on oxygen, when the power went out.  After we got her switched from the automatic to the manual system, we ended up staying up most of the night talking.  She told me stuff she'd never told me, let me ask any question I wanted to ask.  

She had gotten a job as a secretary at the plant, and was interested in becoming an inspector.  She asked her boss how she could get that job, and he told her, but made it sound like it was beyond her capabilities, so she got him to promise that if she took the classes she needed and passed, he'd give her the job.  She did, and, to his credit, he kept his promise.  

It was these 18 million women, including Geraldine Doyle and my mom, who made it harder and harder for the men in charge to get away with telling women and girls that we "can't" do the things we want to do when they don't mean we are not able, but that they just won't allow us.  

Rest in peace.
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Obituaries, Geraldine Doyle, Rosie the Riveter, WWII, 2010

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