The American Rosie Moment

Labor Day, 2022 (Sept. 5)-while bells ring for Rosies across America

Dear Fellow Americans,                                                                                           

People in Glenville, WV and surrounding areas will soon be known nationwide for helping West Virginia to become a model for other states to follow in the American Rosie Movement™ – a new kind of social movement that gets people to unite to create projects with American Rosie the Riveters (“Rosies”). These women did many jobs to shorten and win World War II during WWII to supply our troops. The youngest is now 94, so time is short.   

West Virginians have been helping us for 14 years to prepare for a nationwide search for Rosies and for communities who “do something” to keep the Rosie Legacy™ alive. From the start, Rosies said they want to be known for pulling together to do quality work for freedom. Unity and quality work to use freedom is the goal.

Glenville has done first-quality work with “Thanks!” for almost a decade, often under the leadership of Marissa Fox and her Girl Scout Troop 10123. Now, citizens in Gilmer County and nearby counties have started a project to name a schoolroom, “The Rosie the Riveter Room”.  This demonstration project has high promise for schools to follow in WV, the country, and the world.

October 14th is the target date to name the schoolroom which will likely be at Gilmer County Middle School.  That day is also homecoming football game between the Calhoun and Gilmer County High Schools.  But, you can bet that, no matter which team citizens are supporting, they will agree that Rosies are important, their legacy must be known, and youth are the key to keeping freedom flowing.

I started looking for Rosies in 2007.  In June 2008, I interviewed Garnet Kozielec in Dunbar, WV.  She was trained in the Charleston Greyhound Bus Station, then she riveted airplane wing tips in Michigan and California. From that day on, I have felt both blessed and responsible for the world to know these authentic, important, underrecognized women. Now, we have interviewed at least 180 Rosies.  However, interviewing Rosies about their work during the war is not all that needs to be done.

We must listen about what Rosies have contributed and seen over the last century. After all, the last 100 years has seen more change than any century in human history.  They tell us how they conserved during the Great Depression and World War II, that many cared for veterans who were injured in body and spirit, about the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Empowerment Movement, and how computers have changed our culture.

We must also do what Rosies did and what they want to be known for – we must pull together to produce things that show we will cooperate to show that we value and will preserve our freedom.  The classroom in Gilmer County is a fine start – youth must see what people can do if they pull together and do quality work.

Nancy Sipple, a Rosie in Putnam County, was instrumental in creating the only park that was constructed under the direction of Rosies, said it this way, “We pulled together then, we can do it again.  It’s our only hope.”  Dorothy May, a Rosie in Jefferson County, said that Rosies chanted as they went to work, “We work better when we pull together.”  My mother, Jessie Jacobs, a Rosie in Cabell County, said, “By working together, we do so much more than we could ever do alone.”   

Currently,” Thanks!” has a small grant from the WV Humanities Council to inform and engage the public and leaders in unifying to name the schoolroom.  Will you help us to do an excellent job so that people will follow school rooms will be named for Rosies nationwide?  Please see www.AmericanRosieMovement.org for a partial list of what West Virginian helped us do to show that we are Americans who our country and the world needs. 

Anne Montague,

Founder of Thanks! Plain and Simple, which has created the American Rosie Movement™

Partial List of West Virginian’s Work in the American Rosie Movement™

A partial list of work done in West Virginia, while we continue work in the state to show to America:

  • The only government building in America called the Rosie the Riveter is in Huntington (thanks to approval by the WV Legislature in 2012).
  • Two interstate bridges in WV are named Rosie the Riveter (in Charleston and Morgantown).
  • The only park designed and opened with help of Rosies is in Rotary Park, St. Albans.
  • Thirty-one WV Rosies are in the documentary film, called, “We Pull together, Rosie the Riveters Then and Now), which was partially supported by the WV Humanities Council (2009-11).
  • Four Allied Embassies have honored Rosies and the American Rosie Movement™.
  • American University held a Rosie Summit to celebrate the end of the war on V.J. Day this year and dedicated a tree to Rosies, which was helped by citizens of Huntington.
  • Huntington, WV is one of six Model Rosie Cities (along with Nijmegen, Netherlands; Washington, DC; Brunswick, MD; and Camden, SC) because they followed the lead of “Thanks!”.  Next cities are Glenville, WV; Youngstown, OH; Salt Lake City, UT.
  • A theme song for Rosies was performed by the Philadelphia Girls’ Choir and another song starts and begins our documentary film.  Both are copyrighted and written by West Virginians.
  • Associated Press covered a Glenville event, the New York Times covered a Shepherdstown, WV, event: the Washington Post covered us on Sunday front page; and WV print and electronic media coverage of Rosies and event has been frequent.
  • The first bell rung for Rosies was in Buckhannon, WV by a Glenville Brownie Girl Scout which started the “Ring a Bell for Rosies” annual event in WV, nationally and internationally.
  • A bluebird nest-box trail was installed in Brunswick, MD which WV Rosies wanted to mean “hope”.
  • Our founder wrote about the celebration of the day WWII ended when she was six and  “Thanks!” has put three books about different projects are on hold for lack of time.
  • An art display made of Blenko Glass of a Rosie working on the railroad is on display at the Cabell/Huntington Library after being in the Pulman Plaza Hotel for five years.
  • Lesson plans for 6th and 11th grades are approved by WV Dept. of Education.  College students are expected to continue to help from WVU, West Virginia State U, Marshall U, and others.
  • Three WV Rosies met the Royal Couple of the Netherlands who recognized our work with Rosies, including taking them to The Freedom Museum in Nijmegen, Netherlands.
  • United States Patent and Trade office has approved four phrases about Rosie work, which protects our work from WV.  One is the American Rosie Movement™.
  • The Fire Dept in Morgantown rang bells for Rosies, with Girl Scouts, college students, and others helping.
  • Senior Services in several regions of the country (Washington, DC; Youngstown, OH; the state of Utah) are helping to find Rosies, which WV Senior Services did until ~ 2014.
  • In-kind contributions are high, including from our founder, which shows public respect for this work.
  • Currently, “Thanks!” has a grant from the WV Humanities Council to name a Glenville schoolroom for Rosies, as a demonstration for other WV Schools will follow (see previous page).  

This program is made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities special initiative, A More Perfect Union, through the West Virginia Humanities Council. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations do not necessarily represent those of the West Virginia Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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