American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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Rosie the Riveter

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Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
Cover illustration for the
Saturday Evening Post
(May 29, 1943)
Color photomechanical print
General Collections (71.2)

The character of "Rosie the Riveter" was one of the best-known symbols of the U.S. government's propaganda campaign encouraging women to join the war effort. Widespread male enlistment left vacancies in essential industries such as airplane and munition production, and nearly 3 million women answered their country's call to serve in defense plants. Norman Rockwell's Rosie is a strong woman capable of doing a "man's job," and she appeared on the cover of a magazine that actively encouraged women to join the workforce during World War II. Rockwell enhances her patriotism by placing a flag in the background and her feet firmly on Hitler's Mein Kampf.

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