Today–March 21–is the second annual Rosie the Riveter Day to commemorate the contributions of women to the workforce during WWII. During WWII, women helped build ships and airplanes, and generally did all the work previously thought to be the exclusive province of men. Since the men had to go to war, women picked up where the men left off and kept the American industrial machine running. Workplace conditions were very dangerous and, according to the National Park Service, there were more industrial casualties than military casualties between 1941 and 1944. The sacrifices of the working women of WWII led to improved workplace safety laws and better access to health care and child care for workers, and it’s safe to say that American and Allied forces could not have won the war without them.
There’s a Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park in California to commemorate the contributions of women to the workforce during WWII and promote education about the Home Front during that period.