BUCKHANNON, West Virginia – West Virginia Wesleyan College’s chapel bells will ring at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3 in honor of the women who worked in the war industries during World War II.
For the last five years, the Rosie the Riveter Movement, led by the Thanks! Plain and Simple organization in Charleston, West Virginia has organized this national bell ringing event. Wesleyan will join the celebration along with locations across the country from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco, California.
Dr. Katharine Antolini, chair of the history department, explained how Thanks! Plain and Simple stresses the need of using Rosies as an example of the country coming together.
“In today’s politically and culturally torn society, it is a wonderful message,” she said. “These women are so humble. You ask them why they took on these different jobs and they simply answer: ‘Because our country asked us to; we were needed.’ It is only later that these women have come to recognize themselves as role models for the generations of women who came after them. They were an example of women’s significance in the labor force.”
Wesleyan rings its bells in honor of West Virginia Rosies Ruth Edwards, who worked for Carnegie Illinois Steel Corporation in Charleston, and Anna Hess who traveled to Akron, Ohio to work in the tire industry. Both women, well into their 90s, are still active in the Rosie the Riveter movement and are joining the celebration in Washington, D.C.
Edwards said, “We know what people can do when we pull together to do quality work to face big problems. We like to be called ‘Rosies’ for two reasons–first, most of us were not riveters; second, ‘Rosie’ means positive. We Rosies proved that being positive and realistic is possible, and it works.”
To read short biographies on Edwards, Hess and many other Rosies, visit www.thanksplainandsimple.org.
ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA WESLEYAN COLLEGE
West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC) is a private, four-year residential liberal arts college in Buckhannon, West Virginia. A tradition of excellence for more than 130 years, West Virginia Wesleyan is home to 14 Fulbright Scholars. The Princeton Review ranked Wesleyan one of its 2021 Best Colleges in the Southeastern Region of the United States. U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best College Rankings designated Wesleyan a “Top 20” Best Value – Regional Universities (South) and one of the “Top 75” Regional Universities (South). WVWC offers students more than 40 majors and 40 minors; graduate programs in athletic training, business administration, creative writing, and nursing; 22 NCAA Division II athletic programs; multiple performing arts groups; and more than 70 organizations. Founded in 1890, the College is closely affiliated with the United Methodist Church and abides by the Wesley doctrine that emphasizes service to others. For more information, visit wvwc.edu.