Saturday, November 1, 2014

They did it! They saved the Willow Run building!

    Imagine a huge, mile-long building with tens of thousands of workers - including lots of Rosie the Riveter women - working 24 hours a day to make one main thing for the war effort - B-24 airplanes, known as Liberator Bombers. That was Willow Run Bomber Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan in the 1940's.
    The 2014 plan was to tear down the huge building, which hasn't been used in many years. But the Yankee Air Museum has officially bought part of the building - the end with the huge bay doors where the finished planes rolled out and took off on the runway - and plan to move the museum there. Read about the sale here.
    It wasn't easy to buy the building, though. It took years of fundraising to secure the 8 million dollars that was needed. And GUESS WHO helped with that effort? The women! Well, the Yankee Air Museum does a lot to include the role of the women - the Rosies - in their displays, and the women had a heart to help.
     Recently, 776 women and girls dressed as Rosie the Riveter and set a record for the Guinness Book of World Records for "The Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Rosie the Riveter." Don't you know that was a fun event?! And they raised awareness and money for the effort to Save Willow Run. There were several actual Rosies present who had worked at the Willow Run plant in the 1940's. The look-alikes ranged in age from 97 years old to 3 months old. To qualify for the record, they had to hold their "We Can Do It!" pose for 5 minutes as a group. No problem! The ladies spontaneously sang "God Bless America" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" to pass the time!
    Here's a 1945 video of how one B-24 plane was produced every 55 minutes at the Willow Run Bomber Plant. Another piece of history preserved!

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