Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Park

Dyan and I attended the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Park yesterday since it is so close to her new apartment in Richmond. The park is a conglomeration of monuments, buildings, and even a ship.

This is the actual Rosie the Riveter Memorial- it was constructed to look like the frame of a ship that they would have been working on.

They not only had quotes and facts on the panels but also along the sidewalk. One of the quotes at the memorial indicated how one woman felt the enormous responsibility of her job was that she had to do her best work on the ship so that it would hold up and bring back the crew members.

Women and blacks comprised 25% of the workforce in Richmond. In the space of a few short years during the war, the population of Richmond skyrocketed from about 25,000 to over 100,000. Henry Kaiser designed the Hoover Dam and established a big shipbuilding enterprise in Richmond. He was able to mass produce the ship building process so that eventually one ship would leave the port each day. Kaiser shipbuilding teamed up with the Permanente Steel company and the group provided health care for their workers. Thus, Kaiser Permanente health care was formed- and I am glad because we appreciate the great care we receive from them.

We toured the ship SS Red Oak Victory that was originally assembled in Richmond ship yards.

Whirly cranes like this helped to build the ships

We were able to walk around the ship, which was interesting since they had workers repairing parts of the ship both inside and out.

We were surprised at how nice and spacious some of the cabins were, but we also found some more of the bare bones bunks that we had been expecting.

The wheelhouse with the speed controls and the actual captains wheel

They had a radio inside of the chartroom- I like the headphones (though they would be uncomfortable in how there is no padding on them).

This is a wall hanging of all of these different kinds of knots- I had no idea that there were so many! I only learned a couple in Girl Scouts.

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