2,000 attend 'Rosie the Riveter' event in Richmond

- About 2,000 people turned out for a Rosie the Riveter rally in Richmond Saturday, many sporting the distinctive red-and-white bandannas and coveralls of the iconic but fictional World War II factory worker.

The "Rosies" challenged stereotypical ideas of so-called "men's work" as they welded, riveted, hammered and sawed in jobs at shipyards and factories while men fought overseas. Richmond's shipyard turned out more ships than any other in the country.

In 2015 and 2016, the Guinness world record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Rosie the Riveter went to Richmond's Rosie the Riveter Historical Park, where today's gathering was held.

However, this year the park didn't try to compete. Instead, the event featured a homefront history hike led by Karen Buchanan, a Richmond History Museum board member; a speech by Mayor Tom Butt; hundreds of men, women and children in the trademark Rosie outfit; and a moving tribute to 31 
women at the event who were original Rosies.

"We read the names of the original Rosies and everyone gave them a hand," said Tom Leatherman of the National Park Service. "There were women here ranging in age from 89 to 103."

The 103-year-old, Josephine Lico, worked at Kaiser Shipyard No. 3 in Richmond during World War II.

Leatherman said of the Rosies, "These women stepped up during the war to meet the challenge of the day. I hope they inspire today's women to step up to the challenges facing us now."
   

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