Richmond's real life Rosie-the-Riveters

Aug 30, 2016
The Betty Reid Soskin Pages

During World War II, the city of Richmond quadrupled in size when about 70,000 workers flocked to work at the shipyards that dotted the bay’s shoreline.

From the Storycorps booth

If you've ever visited the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park on the Richmond waterfront, chances are you have heard of its most celebrated ranger.

Photo by Mary Rees.

San Francisco is the city of the Summer of Love – a place famous for peace rallies and liberal politics. So, a newcomer to the Bay Area may well feel confused at the number of forts and military bunkers clustered around the Golden Gate.

Until recently, large parcels of land in San Francisco and northward, in the Marin Headlands, belonged to the army — which was charged with protecting what was then the west coast’s most important port.

Marianne Gillmer was born in Germany during World War II. Growing up in her village during those tragic years was tough on her family, especially after her father died in battle. She was aware of death at a young age, but she and her best friend still found ways to remain playful and adventurous. In this story, she tells her daughter Susan about one of her most peculiar playgrounds – the local cemetery.