(Richmond, CA) –One of America’s original “Rosie the Riveters,” who is still building airplanes at age 94, will be making a special appearance this Saturday, March 1, from 1 to 3 PM at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front Historical Park in Richmond, CA.
Elinor Otto began her career in 1942 working on an aircraft assembly line and is still wielding a rivet gun as a fulltime employee at Boeing’s plant in Long Beach, CA, making her the nation’s oldest working “Rosie.”
Otto has been receiving national media attention recently as a spokeswoman for Spirit of ’45 Day, the new annual day that honors the men and women of the WWII generation, for which Congress unanimously voted in 2010. For more information, visit www.Spiritof45.org.
Ms. Otto will be welcomed to the park by Betty Reid Soskin, who, at age 92, is America’s oldest working National Park Service ranger and one of the park’s biggest draws. Together, these two iconic representatives of the Greatest Generation will be announcing the kickoff of National Women’s History Month in March.
“It is important to remind America of the role women played during WWII and how their experience led to greater participation by women in the economic and political life of the nation,” said Otto. “It is especially important that young women learn about the achievements of those of us who served in uniform and on the Home Front so that our legacy continues to inspire future generations.”
Also appearing at the park March 1st will be the “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive!” Express, which is traveling throughout the country promoting public awareness about the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII next year. The 70th anniversary will be commemorated with a round-the-world wreath laying ceremony and other events, both celebratory and solemn on the weekend of August 14-15-16, 2015. The Express will be making whistle stops in hundreds of communities during the next two years, including visits to state veterans’ homes and senior living residences.
The public will also have several more opportunities in March to celebrate Women’s History Month at the national park in Richmond. On Saturday, March 8th, see the groundbreaking 1980 documentary film, “The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter.” The film will screen twice, at 12 PM and 3 PM, in the Visitor Center’s theater. The later screening will be introduced by the film’s director, Connie Field, and the editor, Lucy Phenix.
Also, on four Sundays in March (3/2, 3/9, 3/23 and 3/30), ranger Raphael Allen will present an illustrated talk, “Women, Get a War Job” in the Visitor Center’s theater at 2 PM. Come listen and learn about the WWII propaganda campaign that called American women to “do their part” in the war effort.
Please note: Between Saturday, March 1st and the public unveiling of the exhibits on Saturday, May 24th, the Visitor Center will remain open seven days per week from 10 AM to 5 PM, except for a closure lasting one or two days starting Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
During this interim period, visitors should be prepared for partial closure of the exhibit galleries during the month of March and full closure for the month of April. The Visitor Education Center, however, will remain open. Rangers will continue to show films every half hour and lead a variety of programs in the building’s theater during construction. Additional walking tours and programs will be offered at 11 AM several days a week. Please check https://www.nps.gov/rori/
The Rosie the Riveter Visitor Education Center is open seven days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM and is located at 1414 Harbour Way South, suite 3000, Richmond, CA 94804. For more information and directions to the Visitor Education Center, please call (510) 232-5050 x0 or visit to https://www.nps.gov/rori/
If you would like to receive information about upcoming park events, visit www.rosietheriveter.org and sign up for the newsletter. The Rosie the Riveter Trust is the nonprofit association that is building a community of support for the national park.
Last updated: February 28, 2015