U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell is looking to retake the world record for the Largest Gathering of Rosie the Riveters in one place since World War II – an honor the state of Michigan last knew in 2015.
“Rosie the Riveter is part of our history in Michigan,” Dingell (D-Dearborn) said in a statement about the event. “She has inspired generations of women to break down barriers, and this effort to retake the world record celebrates her enduring legacy.”
The original “Rosie the Riveter,” Rose Will Monroe, worked as a riveter at the Willow Run Aircraft Factory in Ypsilanti building B-24 bombers for the U.S. Air Force. The historic image is considered one of the most iconic from the WWII era.
This is not Dingell’s first time working on this issue, though. In fact, in 2015, she joined more than 2,000 women, including 43 Original Rosies, at the former Willow Run Bomber Plant in Ypsilanti and ended up claiming the world record. California bested Michigan in 2016 by setting a new record of 2,229 Rosies gathered in one place.
Beyond trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records, Dingell said there is a cultural significance to the event, which will be held on Saturday.
“This day is about coming together as a community, telling the stories of the iconic women who changed the role of women in the workplace, and passing our history on to future generations,” she said. “We invite everyone to join us on October 14th to bring the record home to Ypsilanti and celebrate the power that we, as women, bring to the workplace and the economy.”
All ages are welcome. More information is available online. The event will be held at Eastern Michigan University’s Convocation Center, 799 N. Hewitt Road, in Ypsilanti. There is no cost to attend the event and doors will open at 9 a.m.
In order to be counted in the World Record gathering, participants are asked to arrive no later than 11 a.m., and are required to be in costume, which involves dark blue work clothes, red socks, dark shoes with closed toes, and a red-and-white-polka-dot bandanna.
Congresswoman Dingell serves a co-chair of the effort with Ypsilanti Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo and Brenda McKinney, Superior Township’s treasurer. Honorary co-chairs for this year’s event include First Lady of Michigan Sue Snyder; former U.S. Rep. Candice Miller; UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada; Gretchen Valade, chair emeritus of Carhartt; Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley; EMU Regent Michelle Crumm; and EMU Executive Vice President Dr. Rhonda Longworth.