Rosie the Riveter / World War II Home Front National Historical Park

Audio Available:

OVERVIEW: About this audio-described brochure

Welcome to the audio-described version of Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park's official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that park visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about [NUMBER] minutes which we have divided into [NUMBER] sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections [RANGE 1-XX] cover the front of the brochure and include information regarding the national home front story and includes scans of original documents and historic photos. Detailed information about the scans and photos that are arranged as collages can be found after a brief overall description.  Sections [RANGE XX-XX] cover the back of the brochure which highlights the World War II history in the City of Richmond where the park is located.

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OVERVIEW: Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, located in California, is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. The park is situated within the City of Richmond at the edge of San Francisco Bay. This park, established in 2000, is one of the newest national parks. Each year, thousands of visitors come to explore the history and impacts of the World War II Home Front. This is an unusual national park since the park historic sites which are located throughout the City of Richmond are not owned by the Federal Government.  We recommend that you start your visit at the Visitor Education Center where you can get an overview of the park, and if you have time you can explore the other park sites which include the Rosie the Riveter Memorial, historic Shipyard #3 located within the current Port of Richmond and walking along the Richmond portion of the San Francisco Bay Trail.  For those seeking to learn more about the park during their visit, An informative audio description tour of the exhibits and a tactile map of the Richmond waterfront also can be found at the visitor's center. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure. 

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OVERVIEW: Front side of brochure

The front of the brochure includes historic photographs and photographs of artifacts arranged into sections by topics listed in the table of contents. Most photos are black and white unless indicated as color.   The topics cover many aspects of the National WWII home front effort including the mobilizing of American civilians, production efforts of defense plants, the contributions and struggles of women and people of color during the war, and sacrifices of people at home to support the troops fighting overseas.

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TEXT: Introduction

December, 1941: A sudden attack on a distant US naval base transformed America overnight into the “home front.” Everything changed, especially the swelling industrial workforce. It included millions more minorities, in particular African Americans, and women, embodied by “Rosie the Riveter.” Richmond, California typified wartime boomtowns across the country that endured deep and rapid change as migrants sought work in defense industries.

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IMAGE: Kaiser Shipyard work crew

CREDIT: 

Courtesy of the Richmond Museum of History


DESCRIPTION: 

A large historic photo that covers the top one-fifth of the unigrid, and shows a crew of 52 WWII Richmond Kaiser shipyard workers posed in four rows, some seated, some kneeling, and some standing. The diverse group of mostly men also includes four African American women, six white women, and one woman who appears to be latina. All are dressed in heavy duty work clothes, some have metal hard hats and most are smiling and appear happy to be included in a group photo.  Two workers hold a sign, “Riveters, Flangers, Shrinkers, Basins, Kaiser Co. Inc.” 


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IMAGES: Remembering an era

CAPTION: 

Many defense workers carried lifelong memories of their experience, saving ID cards and badges, pay slips, and photos of their younger days.


CREDIT: 

National Park Service


DESCRIPTION: 

Scans of nine artifacts including five identification badges for defense workers, one identification card, one paycheck stub one union dues insurance slip and one photo from the musuem collection.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION of ARTIFACTS:

The nine artifacts are arranged in a collage underneath the large shipyard worker photo on the right side of the brochure. 

Three photos are of similiar identification badges in different colors; green on left, yellow in middle, and red on right. The top of each badge says “U.S. Navy Aircraft”. An illegible signature appears on the bottom of each badge.

Photo of round Identification Badge. Letters around the edge, “Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard inc., Baltimore”. Photo in the middle of white woman with head scarf, not smiling with a background chart for measuring height. Below photo her ID number, “EB7195”

Scan of a rectangular Identification card. Black and white photo of a caucasian woman with dark hair in collared shirt on left side. Her ID number to the right of a red “B” is “No. T 255039”. The next three lines say “North American Aviation Inc. of Texas Dallas Texas”. At bottom three signature lines. Only legible signature is “Francis A. Heard” on “signature of employee” line.

Scan of yellow paycheck stub. Starting from the top of stub, typed letters “BX-1851”. Second line has a black line to protect identity (probably a social security number). Third line has name, “Rickard, Ruth Ellen”. Fourth line says, “Amounts below equal total wages” . Then a table with columns labeled, “REF, DEDUCTIONS, AMOUNT, NET CASH” . Table lists, “Soc. Sec. Tax 1.34; Income tax 16.40; Insurance 2.90; Union Dues 1.00; War Bonds 17.00. Under NET CASH is 95.63. Stamped “PAID OFF DEC 9 1943” and “PAID BY CHECK”. At bottom, “Ford Motor Company”.

Photo of round Identification Badge. Letters around the edge, RICHMOND SHIPYARD NUMBER TWO”. Photo in the middle of white woman, with slight smile and a background chart for measuring height. Below photo her ID number, “46334”

Scan of Union Dues receipt, only partially visible under the badges. Monthly dues listed as 1.75 and Insurance Premium listed as 1.25. White paper with green watermark in middle.

Black and White photo of 2 women defense workers wearing coveralls, headscarves, welding goggles, and ID badges. They are both smiling, while one has her arm around the other’s shoulder, and they are both drinking using straws from the same soda bottle


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IMAGES: The War Time Workplace

CAPTION: 

Workshirts, training manuals, war bond drives—all part of the workplace for defense workers during the war. The time’s attitudes toward women were often reflected in such materials.


CREDIT: 

National Park Service


DESCRIPTION: 

Scans of three artifacts, a uniform shirt, an aircraft training manual and a brochure about weapons, from the museum collection.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION of ARTIFACTS:

On the left, a photo of a folded, light blue denim defense factory uniform shirt, with collar. Label says, “Hinson Garments” Left side of chest has blue patch with yellow border and letters M A C. Shirt has buttons down front and pocket on right side. 


In the midddle, a scan of a yellow WWII training manual titled, “Aircraft Riveting”. At the bottom: “The Department of Education and Training”. Satirical cartoon drawing of a woman in a defense factory uniform with red shirt straddling a large red Rivet that has wings and is drawn to resemble a 1940’s airplane. Her head scarf is tied at the top of her head in the shape of exaggerated bunny ears. 

On the right, a poster titled, “Weapons for Victory” in pink letters against a circular blue background. Surrounding the title on top are 3 firearms. Underneath the title are a bayonet, 3 grenades and a revolver. A jeep with two soldiers is in the middle of the light-blue background. 7 bombs of various sizes at the bottom above the words, “A war bond today - a bomb on it’s way”


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TEXT: Arsenal of Democracy

WARTIME AMERICA 

I n his December 1940 radio address, delivered as German divisions rolled across Europe, President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised to make America “the great arsenal of democracy.” Even before the nation entered the war a year later, a new partnership of government, industry, and labor focused the country’s energies and vast productive capacity on that goal, turning out enormous stocks of weapons for its own armed forces and its allies.

This massive effort and the demands of “total war” altered the lives of Americans, often permanently. Living standards rose as rapid industrial employment helped end the Depression. Regulations like wage and price controls played a bigger role in people’s lives. War brought out the worst and best in us: black market activity coexisted with shared sacrifice. Japanese Americans were interned and some cities endured race riots even as wartime needs spurred innovative social programs. 

THE HOME FRONT LEGACY 

By war’s end the United States was a world power. The worker migrations permanently changed the nation’s demographic patterns. We were more prosperous, more urban, less regional. Wartime social institutions like employee health plans, day care, and work­place safety standards became permanent. New technologies—antibiotics, jet propulsion, computers, nuclear power—had been accelerated. Millions of men and women of color had taken the first steps toward an equal place in society. 

This time is vividly recalled by Richmond’s historic shipyard-related structures. They are the core of the national park area established to tell the story of the World War II home front.

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IMAGES: Mobilizing the People

CAPTION: 

The government mounted an extensive poster campaign to promote the war effort among civilians, extolling hard work, conservation, war bonds, and rationing. “B-stickers” displayed by defense workers allowed them more gasoline than the general public.


CREDIT: 

Northwestern University


DESCRIPTION: 

A collage of three war bond posters from WWII and a gas ration stamp.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION of COLLAGE:

On the top of the collage, a scan of a WWII war bond poster titled, “you buy ‘em, we’ll fly ‘em!” Drawing of a smiling pilot with his head outside the cockpit and a fleet of planes in the background. “Defense, Bonds, Stamps” partially visible at bottom of poster. 

In the middle of the collage, a scan of a WWII war bond poster titled, “Back the Attack” Drawing of a serious-faced soldier holding a machine gun and a plane dropping many paratroopers in the background. The word “Bond” visible at bottom of poster.

At the bottom, a scan of a WWII war bond poster titled, “Even a little can help a lot - NOW” Drawing of a caucasian mother and daughter (or two sisters) wearing white shirts, blue skirts and matching red hair ribbons pasting stamps into books. Soldier’s cap on floor near girl. Across bottom of poster, “Buy U.S. War Stamps and Bonds”

On the right side, a scan of dark green stamp with a large white “B”. In small letters, “gasoline ration”.

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MAP: Wartime Industry

ASSOCIATED TEXT:

At the peak of its wartime industrial capacity, the United States accounted for 40 percent of all weapons and equipment produced worldwide. The map shows US industrial distribution. At “Prairie Shipyards” (dark blue), landing ships destined for amphibious operations were launched on rivers.

The West Coast was a center of wartime ship building. The San Francisco Bay area alone, including the Richmond yards, launched 45 percent of cargo tonnage and 20 percent of warship tonnage during the war. This output hinged on preassembled parts, made in 128 cities and towns in 33 states, rolling nonstop into Richmond shipyards.

CREDIT: 

National Park Service


MAP DESCRIPTION:

Illustration of continental U.S. with colored dots to show various hubs of wartime industries including Coastal Shipyards located along the Eastern, Western and Southern United States. River/Lake shipyards, Aircraft, Military Vehicles, and Steel predominently located in the Northeastern states.   Lines drawn from these sites to Richmond, California showing origin of parts needed in the Richmond Shipyard





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IMAGES: Mobilizing Industry

CAPTION: 

Ford Motor Co. built the Willow Run plant (left) in Michigan to produce B-24 bombers. 

The Army-Navy Excellence Award “E” pin given to outstanding workers.


CREDIT: 

US Army Signal Corp


DESCRIPTION: 

Photo of B-24 assembly plant. One plane with 2 engines on each wing in front with ladders, scaffolding and workbenches nearby. Large room with many planes.

Photo of an “E” pin. Pin is 1 ½ inches wide by ½ inch tall. Round silver wreath in middle with large “E” flanked by red, white and blue ribbons on the side.



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TEXT: Seeking Equality at Home

As the defense industry geared up before the United States entered the war, African Americans and other minorities found newly created jobs barred to them. In the face of the country’s denial of civil rights to its minorities, America’s condemnation of Nazi oppression looked increasingly hypocritical. Facing a planned March on Washington in 1941 to protest discrimination, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 requiring fair hiring practices in the defense industry. 

More blacks, Asians, and Hispanics worked during the war, but were often placed in unskilled jobs, and many suffered workplace and housing discrimination. Still, wartime work represented new opportunities, and while many lost their jobs at war’s end, their expectations had been raised. Minorities were more motivated to press for their rights in the coming decades. 

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IMAGE: Women workers

CREDIT: 

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park


DESCRIPTION: 

Photo of women workers at Marinship in Sausalito, California posing with signs on poles representing different shipyard trades. Shipfitter, Machinist, Police Officer, Flanger, Burner, Pipefitter, Rigger, Teams, Coppersmith, Welder, Painter, Sheet Metal, Tank Cleaner, Electrician, Nurse, Warehouse all held by mostly smiling white women. One Asian American woman holds a sign that is hidden by other workers. One African American woman, who is not smiling, holds a sign saying, “Laborer”.


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IMAGE: The Double-V

CAPTION: 

As African Americans continued to suffer discrimination due to weak enforcement of Executive Order 8802, they created the “Double-V Campaign,” for victory over fascism abroad and racism at home.


CREDIT: 

National Park Service


DESCRIPTION: 

Scan of the logo, “Double Victory”, made famous during the war. At the top of the green stamp with the white logo is the word “Democracy”. At the bottom are the words, “At Home - Abroad”. The logo is an eagle, with wings outstretched, holding onto a curved ribbon with the words, “Double Victory” inscribed on the ribbon. Lots of spokes extend from the ribbon to a large white circle in the middle, overlapping the bottom text. Two large letter “V”’s, one situated above the other, are in the foreground in front of the circle and eagle, straddling the inner ribbon.


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TEXT: Mass Production Miracles

How did America answer Roosevelt’s call to become the “arsenal of democracy”? Part of the answer was the sheer number of workers, working in shifts around the clock. But prefabrication and assembly-line techniques, especially at Richmond’s Kaiser yards, made the difference, allowing workers to launch a huge armada of transport vessels and warships.

Large sections of ships were assembled in a Prefabrication Yard that served Richmond’s shipyards. Deckhouses, for instance, were built on roller runways in the Prefab Plant. As the basic deckhouse sections moved along the rollers, workers joined heavy structural components and installed plumbing and wiring. 

The finished deckhouse was transported by special tractor trailer to a building slip, where cranes lifted it onto the rising hull. This significantly reduced the time needed to build a ship, as did the use of welding. Ships had traditionally been riveted together, but builders adopted welding techniques developed just before the war, saving time, steel, and ultimately lives.

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IMAGE: Ship under construction

CAPTION: 

A Delicate Dance

A deckhouse built in the Prefab Plant is gently lowered by Whirley cranes onto the deck of a C-4 troop transport in Shipyard No. 3.


CREDIT: 

Richmond Museum of History


DESCRIPTION: 

A pPhoto of Kaiser Shipyard number three. Four large cranes are holding a four-story "deckhouse" or "superstructure" in the air above a ship under construction. Scaffolding surrounds the ship in the dry dock. In the distance are other shipyard buildings and in the backround are grass covered hills. A small white circle with an arrow labeled “Worker” highlights two small people working on the deck of the ship in the middle of the picture.


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TEXT: Help from the Homefront

With the Allies suffering early defeats on the battlefield, Americans quickly understood the magnitude of the situation and were willing to share the sacrifices made by those who fought. “There’s a war to be won!” was the common response to those who shirked. People saved fats (right) for use in explosives, held salvaging and recycling drives, bought war bonds, planted victory gardens, and canned foods. They volunteered for the Civil Defense Corps and endured gas and tire rationing, shortages, and blackouts. 

Popular songs caught the temper of the times, from “jump” songs like Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy; to I’ll Walk Alone and I’ll Be Seeing You, evoking the sadness of separation; to When the Lights Go On Again, expressing everyone’s wistful yearning for the war’s end.

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IMAGES: Scrap drive Photo, Poster and Ration Stamp

CAPTION: 

Recycling materials for military use was a vital civilian activity. Children could contribute to the war effort by gathering scrap metal, rubber, and fiber.


CREDIT: 

Wagon photo: Delaware Public Archives

Poster: Library of Congress


DESCRIPTION: 

Photo of six young American boys and a large wagon filled with scrap metal, twice as tall as the children. Three boys are pulling the wagon, one is holding onto the scrap, one boy is trying to turn a large wheel, and one boy is pushing from the rear.

Small scan of a WWII propaganda poster titled, “Your Scrap…..brought it down”. Drawing of a German plane falling in flames. Across bottom of poster, “Keep Scrapping; Iron and Steel - Rubber; All other metals - rags; Move all scrap now!”

Very small drawing of a stamp with the words, “war ration stamp” and below the words, a large number “19”



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IMAGE: War Gardens for Victory poster

CREDIT:

Library of Congress

DESCRIPTION:
Scan of a WWII color propaganda poster titled, “War Gardens for Victory” Drawing of a woman with a tan military style 'garrison' cap wearing blue overalls, a white shirt and red kerchief around her neck. She is holding a rake in her left hand, and a large basket of vegetables in her right. Across bottom of poster, “Grow Vitamins at your kitchen door!”




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IMAGE: Saving fat

CREDIT: 

Library of Congress


DESCRIPTION: 

A black and white photo of a woman wearing an apron holding a frying pan while the grease is pouring into a metal can for collecting fat.


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TEXT: Women in the Workforce

ROSIE THE RIVETER and WENDY THE WELDER

Some six million women entered the US workforce during the war. While many needed no urging to aid the war effort, the government actively recruited them, first targeting single white women. The appeal later extended to married women, then minority women. Many people, including women, had to overcome Depression-era attitudes about women taking jobs from men—and about married women working at all. Though women across the social spectrum worked during the war, minorities and working-class women (many of whom had always worked) made up half of those who entered the defense workforce.

As they performed tasks that had always been done by men, women met with condescension, unequal pay, and harassment. Gradually they were accepted, especially as they proved themselves at least as skilled as men at a number of tasks. Defense jobs were often non-industrial—many were clerical, and Women Airforce Service Pilots ferried planes and towed training targets. Women worked in non-defense jobs formerly reserved for men: bus drivers, journalists, lab technicians, agricultural workers in the Women’s Land Army. By 1944 women made up almost a third of the workforce. 

After the war they were urged to give up their jobs to returning veterans. Though many lost what they had gained, women had clearly proven they could do “men’s work.”

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IMAGE: U.S. Employment Service poster

CREDIT: 

National Archives


DESCRIPTION: 

Scan of a WWII propaganda poster titled, “Do the job HE left behind” Drawing of a woman with a red headscarf and blue coveralls. She is drilling a hole in a piece of metal to prep an area of an aircraft wing for riveting. Across bottom of poster, “Apply U.S. Employment Service”


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IMAGES: Women Defense Workers

CAPTION: 

“ROSIE THE RIVETER”

Many female defense workers were riveters, and the “Rosie the Riveter” icon and song were a central part of the campaign to recruit women and persuade men to accept them.


CREDIT: 

Library of Congress


DESCRIPTION: 

Along the bottom of the Unigrid, is a collage with 10 color photos of different women defense workers. All the photos have been ‘cut-out’ of larger photos so that just the women’s pictures are shown without their original background.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION:

Photos are described from left to right. 

First photo is a white woman wearing a yellow cap, light blue shirt and white overalls. She is holding onto two black metal arms which rotate an unseen machine.

Second photo is a white woman in a tan uniform with a tan military style 'garrison' cap. She has an ID badge on her left chest and there is a logo with a red star in the middle of blue wings underneath the badge. Her hands are in her pockets. She has a brown belt and a watch on her left wrist. 

Third photo is an African American woman in a red head scarf and blue coveralls. She is holding a hand drill in her right hand. Her left hand has a large ring and fingernails with red polish, and is cradling the front of the drill. Her reflection is slightly visible in the aluminum of the fuseloge of the plane she is drilling in preparation for riveting. 

Fourth photo is two white women in blue coveralls with their shoulder-length hair pulled back by bobby pins. The woman on the left holds a rivet gun next to an aircraft wing. The second woman holds her hands underneath the wing. Her green ID badge is on a button in the middle of her coveralls near the collar. 

(Note: The second woman is a “bucker”, and she is holding a steel bar out of site to help the riveter smash the rivet to hold two pieces of metal together).

Fifth photo is a white woman in a red scarf with small white decorative flowers is wearing blue overalls and a blue shirt. Her hands are dirty, and she has red nails visible on her right hand which is holding a red oil can and a dirty rag.

Sixth photo is a woman, who appears to be Latina, with black hair, wearing a black scarf that partially covers her hair. She has very clean white coveralls with a patch on her left short-sleeve. The patch is a blue-rimmed circle with a white outline of Texas on a white background. She is holding a drill over an aircraft wing. 

Seventh photo is a white woman with a welding mask lifted to expose her face wearing blue coveralls with small white stripes. She has thick leather gloves on her hands and holds a ‘stinger’, the clamp that holds a welding rod.

Eigth photo is a white woman in a red, white and blue head scarf and white shirt and tan pants with an ID badge on her left chest. She is holding a tool in her right hand, possibly a small rivet gun, and her left hand appears to be holding something small, maybe a rivet that we can’t see.

Ninth photo is a woman, who appears to be Latina, in a blue hat, blue shirt and blue pants and brown belt. She has an id badge near her left color, and a logo with blue wings on her left chest. In her strong right arm she is holding four coils of an air hose.

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OVERVIEW: Back side of brochure

Side two of the brochure is comprised of text and photos.  The top half focuses on work and home life in the City of Richmond during the war and includes 13 black and white historic photos, a collage of eleven colorful ship launch programs and four children's paintings.  The bottom half of the brochure has a very large black and white historic aerial photo of the four Kaiser Shipyards, and three color modern photos and one historic memo. At the very bottom is general information about the park.

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TEXT: Wartime Richmond

Major heading for backside of brochure.
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TEXT: Working in Richmond

BUILDING SHIPS FOR WAR 

How did Richmond become a wartime shipbuilding center? Its rail and deepwater connections made it a natural site for Henry Kaiser’s shipyards and over 50 other war- related industries. The shipyards were born of the 1940 Emergency Shipbuilding Program, which called for a new shipyard in Richmond to build 30 cargo ships to help replace those Britain had lost to German U-boats. Within two years Kaiser, new to shipbuilding but experienced in large industrial enterprises, had built a complex of four yards. 

During the war the government commissioned over 3,200 Liberty and Victory ships for the expanded US cargo fleet and the Lend-Lease program. These types accounted for most of the 747 ships launched in Richmond, more than any other yard in the country. Kaiser’s success was due in great part to innovative prefabricated assembly methods (discussed on front). These methods also allowed inexperienced workers to do small, repetitive tasks, like simple welding, which sped construction and opened up more jobs for new workers, especially women. 

Veterans in the skilled shipbuilding trades resisted this “deskilling” of tasks and the hiring of inexperienced workers, but the Kaiser yards were among the earliest to employ women; by 1944 they made up 41 percent of welders. As outsiders of different backgrounds arrived, racism and cultural differences caused problems at the yards. Despite the tensions 10,000 African Americans eventually worked here, along with smaller numbers of Hispanics, Asian Americans, and American Indians.

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IMAGE: Welder

CAPTION: 

Welder trainee Corinne MacDaniel learning her trade


CREDIT: 

Courtesy of the Richmond Museum of History

DESCRIPTION:

Photo of worker, wearing leather jacket, gloves and full welding mask, bending over a large piece of metal and actively welding.  She is holding a 'stinger', which holds a welding rod.  Sparks, flame and smoke are arising from where the rod is touching the metal.

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IMAGE: Welding Workgroup

CAPTION: 

War sped the diversification of the nation’s workforce, especially at the Richmond shipyards. Only a few years earlier this workgroup would have been unimaginable.


CREDIT: 

Clem Family Archives


DESCRIPTION:

Photo of twelve workers, all wearing heavy leatherjackets, and most have welding helmets.  There is a small building in the background.  Two white women are kneeling in front.  Standing behind are two white men, two white woman and a woman who appears to be Latina.   The next row has one white man in a shipyard hardhat, possibly the crew foreman, flanked by three African American women.  At the top is an African American man leaning against a large metal pole.  Most of the group is smiling.

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IMAGE: ID badge


CAPTION: 

ID badges were required for shipyard security. Many women valued them as symbols of their new status as defense workers.


CREDIT: 

National Park Service


DESCRIPTION:

Color photo of an identification badge with plastic coating attached to a leather holder with a metal clip.  On the top in bold, “Kaiser Co. Inc. 3”, directly underneath in faded type, "ELEC TRN".   Photo in the middle of white woman with curly, shoulder-length hair,and a background chart for measuring height. Below photo her ID number, “85283, Richmond California”.  Flanking the photo on left side in vertical text, "Fischbach, Moore, Inc.".  On the right side, "Kenny and Langlais".

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IMAGE: Munitions preparation

CAPTION: 

Florien Esperanza prepares munitions for shipment.


CREDIT: 

Richmond Museum of History

DESCRIPTION:

Photo of a Latina woman standing by a machine with possible hydrolic lines, next to a table with munitions casings.  She has a large hair covering, gloves, and is wearing a sweater with a white collared shirt with an ID badge pinned to the front.

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IMAGE: Gate guard

CAPTION: 

Sally Given, gate guard at Shipyard No. 3


CREDIT: 

Richmond Museum of History


DESCRIPTION:

Photo of a white woman in a neatly-pressed security guard uniform with a dark military style 'garrison' cap, a jacket with a white shirt and tie.  He large badge on her left chest is start shaped.  She is smiling and standing proudly with her hands clasped behhind her back.

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IMAGE: Work shifts

CAPTION: 

Three shifts worked around the clock.

CREDIT: 

Richmond Museum of History

DESCRIPTION: 

A photo of thirteen long lines of hundreds of  workers waiting to check in at a shipyard security gate.







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TEXT: Living in Richmond

MAKING A NEW LIFE 

The wartime migrations of workers to industrial centers affected many cities, but Richmond was particularly hard hit. At its peak 90,000 people worked in the shipyards, quadrupling its size. The exploding population overwhelmed the city’s transportation, housing, education, and public health and safety services, though Richmond and the shipyards alleviated some of the problems. Kaiser’s Permanente Health Plan offered health care to workers, with onsite first aid stations and a local field hospital.

A Richmond-Federal-Kaiser partnership provided workers with housing and child-care centers. But housing remained in short supply, forcing workers to come up with their own solutions: railroad cars, cobbled-together shacks, trailers. Some took turns sleeping in “hot beds” used around the clock. African Americans and other minorities lived in even poorer quality segregated housing. Long public transportation rides, food shortages, and racial issues persisted, but Richmond and its diverse population coped. They made it work.

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IMAGE: Apartment complex

CAPTION: 

Wartime apartment complex for workers.


CREDIT: 

National Park Service


DESCRIPTION: 

A photo of an apartment parking lot where a woman is walking away from the camera down the middle of the gravel aisle holding the hands of two small children. The woman is wearing a knee-length dress. One both sides are numerous parked cars and just beyond the cars on the left side of the photo is a white two story building. The building has a pitched roof and has many long windows. On the top right of the photo a similar style building can be faintly seen, with a few power and telephone poles in the foreground. 

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IMAGE: Field hospital

CAPTION: 

Field hospital for those on Permanente Health Plan


CREDIT: 

Library of Congress


DESCRIPTION: 

A photo of a large building with three support columns that raise up a flat roof and connect to a larger tower with two medical crosses on either side of the tower. There is a small set of steps that lead to the front of the building. On the front of the building “Richmond Field Hospital” in raised lettering. The front of the building is composed of many small window and there is a long cement path that bisects that the grass and is lined with small shrubs and a small tree. There are two people standing on the front steps of the building, talking to each other.

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IMAGE: Day care

CAPTION: 

Kaiser was a leader in day care for workers.


CREDIT: 

Richmond Museum of History


DESCRIPTION: 

A photo of eight caucasion children sitting in chairs in a semicircle in front of  woman in a striped jacket playing the piano and another woman in a white skirt suit playing the triangle. The kids are all holding different instruments and the girls are wearing collared dresses and the boys wearing collared shirts. 

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IMAGE: Supermarket

CAPTION: 

Residents often found shortages at local stores.


CREDIT: 

Richmond Museum of History


DESCRIPTION: 

A photo of a building with glass windows in the front and large block letters along the roof that reads “Lucky Super Market” .  Five cars are parked in front of the store. 

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IMAGE: Home on leave

CAPTION: 

Navy man Maynard Steele with his son in Atchison Village.  


CREDIT: 

Richmond Museum of History


DESCRIPTION: 

A photo of a man and a young boy wearing matching sailor uniforms. The man is squating and holding onto his son who appears to be about three years old.  The man is looking directly at the camera and smiling while the boy is staring off the the right and smiling. They are standing on a cement walkway that is between two patches of grass and in the background are houses. 

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IMAGE: Moviehouse

CAPTION: 

In the face of persistent housing shortages, some found a good seat in an all-night movie theater and spent the night.


CREDIT: 

National Park Service


DESCRIPTION: 

A photo with nine men and one woman standing outside a movie theatre. One man is African American, one is wearing a navy uniform, two have leather jackets, seven are wearing hats . Hanging from the facade of the movie theatre is a banner that says “open all night” and “doors open at 9 a.m.”  The main message board reads” buy your bonds” and a small sign below says “buy bonds now”.  

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IMAGE: Makeshift shelter

CAPTION: 

Necessity mothered invention as workers without housing came up with a variety of makeshift shelters.


CREDIT: 

University of California, Bancroft Library


DESCRIPTION: 

A photo of a temporary shelter, appearing to be a tarp attached to a vehicle with a bunk bed underneath and straw on the ground.  A caucasion woman wearing a white dress with a head scarf is squating and pouring coffee into a cup that is held by a man laying down on the bottom of a bunk bed. The man looks sleepy and is covered by a blanket except for his head and hands.  

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IMAGES: Launch ceremony programs

CAPTION: 

Launch ceremonies (programs shown here) brought community members together and gave workers a sense of pride and purpose.


CREDIT: 

Richmond Museum of History


DESCRIPTION: 

Collage of eleven colorfully illustrated shipyard launch ceremony program covers shown in a row in the middle of the brochure. The images are small, making details hard to see and some covers partially obscure others in the collage.  Covers were designed by a variety of artists employed by the Kaiser company.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION:

From left to right.

First image is a launching program cover with a drawing of tall purple office building with a large flag at the top with the words, "Home Office Launches".  on the left side in block letters, "USS IRAQ VICTORY" above an outline of the SF Bay area.

Second cover highlights a smiling Polynesion woman against an orange background.  Her eyes are solid black and she has a large purple hibiscus flower in her black hair. Above the hibiscus flower are the silhouettes of two smaller flowers, one in green and one in white. On the opposite side of the woman is a green palm and a purple fish.  Along the bottom, "Launching of the SS Burbank Victory".

Third cover shows a dance couple in an animated pose.  At the top,  “Launching S-S- Cuba Victory”.

Fourth cover a a red ship with yellow propellers that are spraying white water. The ship is facing forward where the bow of the ship is visible and there is a ribbon of flag pennants that extends from the water and wrap all the way up the poster vertically. These flag pennants are red, blue and white and alternate in colors as they ascend the poster. Next to the ship are blue rail like structures that are there to represent the launching ways. At the very top of the poster in white cursive writing are the words “kaiser cargo inc invites you to a frigate launching”. Below that in hollow yellow writing are the words, “U.S.S. Grand Island” and the word Nebraska is under this in white cursive writing. To the left of the ship in white cursive there is “ February 19 ‘44 richmond yd 4 program 8:00 a.m. launching 8:10 a.m.” The bottom 1/6th portion of the poster is a darker blue and in white cursive writing says “ sponsor - mrs. william shackleton’.

18. PROGRAM: SS Jose M Morelos

A launching program cover announcing the launch of the SS Jose M Morelos. A white poster with mexican national colors throughout the poster(red, white, green, yellow). In the center is the Mexican flag and in front of the flag is 5 men wearing panchos and oversized mexican hats. In the foreground in front of the men is the profile of a brown ship. Below the ship is “SS Jose M Morelos” SS, Jose and M written in large green font and Morelos written in large red font. On the bottom of the poster is brown lettering that reads “Permamente Metal Corp - Yard 2 - Richmond, Calif March 21, 1944”.

19. PROGRAM: SS Mariscal Sucre

A multicolored program cover announcing the launching of the SS Mariscal Sucre. This poster is multi-colored with ribbon-like colors of yellow, blue, red and white. The very top left corner of the poster is white, transitioning to yellow then blue then red then white again. The design has seven stars that arch over the words SS Mariscal Sucre, 5 of the stars are white and 2 of them are blue. SS Mariscal Sucre is written in yellow bold font. The bottom of the poster reads “yard 2 1944” in smaller font, the rest of the writing is obscured by a poster overlaid on top of it. This poster 

20. PROGRAM: USS General Collins

A reddish pink program cover that is announcing the launching of the U.S.S. General Edgar T. Collins. The poster transitions in color from light pink on the bottom to darker up top with two small blue stars in the top left corner. The bottom of the poster has a ship illustrated long ways in black with its reflection coming off the water. There is a tall plume of smoke coming from the ship that extends the length of the poster vertically. Above the words “Launching of the U.S.S. General Edgar T. Collins” is the words “Kaiser Co, Inc company invites you to the”. Below it says “Speaker Mrs. Allison J. Barnett”. Under that in smaller white font it says “ program 10:40 AM - Launching 11:00 AM Saturday, January 23rd 1944 Inclosed pass will grant you to the ceremonies at Richmond Yard Three”.

21. PROGRAM: Launching

A program announcing the launch of the S.S. Luther S. Kelly has a creme white background, a orange banner on the top of the poster and a light red banner on the bottom. The orange banner on the top has the word “Launching” in large white block lettering. On the bottom light red banner “Permanente Yard 2” in smaller white block letters. In the center of the poster is a green ship with a flag draped over the bow of the ship and next to ship is the profile of a man with traditional trapper clothes and a raccoon skin hat. In his hands rests a musket. 

22. PROGRAM: SS RED OAK

A program aquamarine in color that is announcing the launching of the SS Red Oak. On the right portion of the poster there is bow of the boat illustrated in orange on one half and kept blank on the other side which remains the color of the poster background; aquamarine. Below the orange ship bow is white water breaking. Richmond Museum of History is written in dark blue lettering on the top of the poster. “You are invited to a launching” is written above the orange ship bow and below the ship bow “Permanente Metal Corporation, SS Red Oak” is written in blue lettering.

23. PROGRAM : SS Marine Leopard

A program that is solid black out the outside with a white oval in the middle, in the middle of the oval is a large yellow and white leopard with black spots. The leopard is facing to the right and below the neck has writing that says “Launching of the S.S. Marine Leopard” written in black cursive. 

24. PROGRAM: SS Benjamin Brewster

A program announcing the launching of the S.S. Benjamin H. Brewster. The poster back ground has a blue and yellow sky and white water with the Golden Gate Bridge behind a large blue ship. Overlaid on the sky is a large California Republic State Flag( a white flag with a red star in the right corner and a yellow bear on all 4 legs with its head facing to the left. Below the bear is the words ‘California Republic’ written in blue) attached to a white pole with a golden ball at the top of the pole. “Permanente Metals Corp Yard 2” is written in blue letters on the bottom of the poster.



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IMAGES: Four Children's paintings

CAPTION: 

Their children painted pictures of the war, often depicting ships and tanks in the midst of battle.


CREDIT: 

Richmond Museum of History


DESCRIPTION: 

Collage of paintings including one shipyard worker, and there military scenes.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION:

From left to right.

First image is a young child's painting of a man with a mustache wearing a brown hat with a swastika on it. The man has an open mouth painted red and wearing a green shirt with grey pockets on it. In the top left of the painting there is a yellow-orange sun and in the top right there is a brown bomb falling towards the man.   The man's legs are not painted.  Along the bottom is a green strip appearing to be grass.

Second image is an older child's painting of a man in a pink suit with a brown hat standing on a brown dock smoking a cigarette. The man is holding a black wrench and to the left of him is the boom of a black crane. Behind the man is a large black ship with a large superstructure or 'deckhouse' with grey smoke billowing out of the top. To the left and right of the deckhouse are tall thin wooden masts. To the right of the ship is the bow of another ship. Behind the ships are painted blue skies and a white square in the corner of the paper. Next to the white square is a yellow 


Third image is a childs painting of a brown and tank with black tracks.  Nine black objects above the tank are probably planes. Coming out from the gun turret of the tank are dashed red lines to represent bullets.   

Fourth image is a childs painting of a purple warship shooting it’s guns into the air with four smoke clouds on the left side, and five on the right  The ship is sailing on a blue colored ocean, and five brown explosion plumes coming from the water surround the ship. 


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IMAGE: Richmond: The Wartime Waterfront

CAPTION:

THE SHIPYARDS IN 1944 

Some of these wartime structures, including the Shipyard No. 2 basin and the Shipyard No. 3 building docks, remain intact—one reason Richmond was chosen as the National Park System’s site to tell the home front story.


CREDIT: 

Richmond Museum of History


A very large sepia toned aerial image that gives a landscape view of the shipyards and industries that decorated the waterfront in 1944 Richmond, CA. 

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IMAGE: "Goodbye day shift" handwritten note

CREDIT: 

Richmond Museum of History


DESCRIPTION:

Scan of Kaiser Shipyard document titled, “Order Progress in Plate Shop”. Handwritten note in large letters saying, “Goodbye Day Shift; Good luck; We’ll see you next war! Swing”

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TEXT: Richmond Today

VISITING THE PARK

A good place to start is the Visitor Education Center, where you can view exhibits and a short film. It is open from 10 am to 5 pm year-round except Thanksgiving, December 25, and January 1. The Rosie the Riveter Memorial in Marina Bay Park is open year-round, dawn to dusk, as are other city parks within the National Park boundary.

Visit historic buildings like the Ford Assembly Building (left), converted in wartime to a tank depot where military vehicles were equipped before shipment. You can take a tour of the city’s historic World War II sites and structures, take a self-guided auto tour, or walk the Bay Trail with its historic markers. See the park website for maps, directions, tour schedules, and information on events and programs.

REGULATIONS 

Follow state laws regarding fi rearms.

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IMAGE: Ford Assembly Building

CREDIT: 

BILL HUSTACE PHOTOGRAPHY


 DESCRIPTION:

A side view of the Craneway pavilion at dusk. The building is made of brick and is yellow in color. The side of the building is composed of many small windows and the lights inside the building are illuminated. The foreground is wet and produces a reflection of the building. Protruding straight up from the roof is a large smoke stack that is multicolored, ranging from yellow at the base transitioning to red in the middle and purple near the top. 

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IMAGE: SS Red Oak Victory

CAPTION: 

Be sure to visit this Victory Ship, moored at Shipyard No. 3. Built in Richmond in 1944, the ship carried supplies and troops to the Pacific theater of war. Visit www.ssredoakvictory.com for directions, hours, fees, and accessibility.


CREDIT: 

National Park Service


DESCRIPTION:

A man with a ball cap and blue coveralls is speaking to a group of children on a ship’s deck. There is a brown wooden sign behind the man with yellow lettering that reads “ Red Oak Victory”.

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IMAGE: Rosie the Riveter Memorial

CAPTION: 

The Memorial, on the site of a Shipyard No. 2 building slip, evokes the yard’s celebrated shipbuilding techniques.   The main sculpture of a hull under construction (right) and the Keel Walk to water’s edge include images and memories of the women who worked here.


CREDIT: 

Brian Imagawa


DESCRIPTION:

Photo of a large, open, silver, steel structure meant to look like the bow of a ship. The structure sits on concrete in a city park with lawn and trees. Photos of women working in various WWII defense jobs are decorated on steel ladders leaning against the curved metal.

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OVERVIEW: Accessibility

Include here the general accessibility philosophy of the park (what's your park's commitment level to accessibility?) as well as highlights of accessibility features and resources that might be of special interest or concern to a blind or low-vision population. See "component notes" below for further guidance.

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OVERVIEW: More information

ADDRESS:

Rosie the Riveter / World War II Home Front National Historical Park

1414 Harbour Way South, Suite 3000

Richmond, CA 94804

PHONE:

510-232-5050

WEBSITE:

www.nps.gov/rori

ADDITIONAL LINKS:

To support the park please contact the Rosie the Riveter Trust at www.rosietheriveter.org.

Rosie the Riveter / World War II Home Front National Historical Park is one of over 390 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks visit www.nps.gov.

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