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The War and the Richmond Home Front

Richmond’s Home Front Festival is serendipitously playing right in the middle of perhaps the biggest WW II media history project ever, the long awaited Ken Burns series, The War, showing locally on KQED from September 23 through October 2.

The KQED/KTEH website for The War and the three local documentaries made by KQED and KTEH is now live. The website features information on all three local documentaries KTEH and KQED are doing on WWII, as well as info on the Ken Burns documentary and other films relating to World War II. The War: Bay Area Stories –- the hour long documentary made by KQED, will be premiering on Friday, September 21 at 9pm and again on Sunday, September 23 at 6pm.

Check the KQED “Share Your Stories” section – which is on the left hand side of the home page at http://www.kqed.org/programs/tv/thewar/. If you click on it, it will take you to a part of the website where folks in the Bay Area can submit their WWII stories. You can submit your story by either typing it in and/or you can also recording it. There are instructions on the website as to how to do both. KQED would like stories from Veterans, their families, and those who were on the homefront. Please tell everyone you know about this as the stories that are collected by KQED will be sent to the Library of Congress next year to help create a national collection of stories about World War Two.

The KQED TV 9 Broadcast Schedule:

Episode 1: A Necessary War
Sun 9/23 8pm & 11pm; Tue 9/25 2:30am; Sat 9/29 mid

Episode 2: When Things Get Tough
Mon 9/24 8pm & 10:30pm; Wed 9/26 3am; Sat 9/29 2:30am

Episode 3: A Deadly Calling
Tue 9/25 8pm & 10:30pm; Thu 9/27 3am; Sat 9/29 11:30pm

Episode 4: Pride of Our Nation
Wed 9/26 8pm &10:30pm; Fri 9/28 2:30am; Sun 9/30 1:30am

Episode 5: Fubar Sun
Sun, 9/30 8pm & 10:30pm

Episode 6: The Ghost Front
Tue, 10/2 8pm & 10:10pm

Episode 7: A World Without War
Tue, 10/2 8pm & 10:10pm

As you probably know by now, the City of Richmond was a major player in the WW II Home Front, serving as the largest and most productive shipyard in the world and producing 749 large ships for the war effort as well as the products of over 50 other war material producers, an achievement now celebrated by the Rosie the Riveter WW II Home Front National Historical Park.

I am inviting you to attend or become a sponsor of the Launching the Rosie the Riveter Gala Dinner on September 28. Click here for your invitation. The cost of a sponsorship ranges from $1,000 to $5,000, and you may want to consider joining up with one or more other businesses or individuals for this social event of the year. Individual seats are available at $150. This is the first annual fund raiser for Rosie the Riveter Trust and is the kick-off event for the three-day Home Front Festival.


Companies such as Kaiser-Permanente and Wells Fargo have already stepped up to the plate for full sponsorships. Among those on the Honorary Committee are Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, Congresswomen Barbara Lee and Ellen Tausher, Congressman George Miller and Mayor Gayle McLaughlin.


Rosie the Riveter Trust is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation organized in 1999 with one objective, to support the Rosie the Riveter WW II Home Front National Historical Park.

Detailed information about the Trust can be found on its website at www.rosietheriveter.org. Since its inception, the Trust has raised nearly $340,000 for projects and programs in support the national park as well as securing a grant for $2 million to assist in the rehabilitation of the Maritime Child Care Center and facilitating matching funds of over $4 million.


The Trust is the national park’s official cooperating association and operates a webstore that sells themed apparel, books and videos that can be accessed through the website.


Members of the Trust board include Tom Butt, Diane M. Hedler, Jane A. Bartke, Rosemary M. Corbin, Tracy Curtis, John M. Gioia, Antonio Medrano and Mindell L. Penn. William C. Acevedo serves as Counsel to the Board.


Some of the projects funded by the Trust include national register nominations, oral histories, an informational website, visitor center design concepts, park service auxiliary staffing,  Whirley Crane relocation, expenses for charrettes and workshops, community outreach and curriculum development for schools.

Emily Yellin, author of the critically acclaimed Our Mothers’ War, has been selected as the keynote speaker for the Rosie the Riveter Trust fundraiser gala that will kick off the Home Front Festival-by-the-Bay on the evening of September 28th. You need to be there! Your business needs to be represented at the formal opening of Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park!

Donna Powers, former Richmond City Council member, one of the founders of Rosie the Riveter Trust and the leader whose vision sparked the Rosie the Riveter Memorial and later the national park, will be honored at the dinner.

The event will be held at the edge of the Bay in the dramatic, glass-enclosed Craneway of the historic waterfront Ford Assembly Building, where tanks were outfitted for World War II.  “Think Big" — a Kaiser Exhibit,” will be on display for the first time in Richmond. This is the first event ever to be held in the restored craneway!

 If you have questions, call me or Jane Bartke, Launching of Rosie the Riveter Event Co-Chair, 510.235.1315, Omabartke@aol.com.

Our Mothers’ War is Emily Yellin’s first book. She has been a longtime contributor to The New York Times. Her work has also appeared in Time, Newsweek, The International Herald Tribune and other publications. In 2004, she contributed the chapter about women to the WWII Memorial commemorative book, The World War II Memorial: A Grateful Nation Remembers.

Born in White Plains, New York, Emily Yellin grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. She received a B.A. in English literature from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and an M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University. In the mid-1990s, she taught journalism at The University of Memphis. She has also lived in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and London, but currently lives in Memphis, with her dog Sophie Yellin.

Eloquent and eye-opening, this ground-breaking book is the first to give full voice to the wide array of real women behind the stock female images of World War II. From Wonder Woman to Rosie the Riveter, and the everyday heroes, and even a few villains, in between -- these are not your father’s war stories.

Acclaimed by The New York Times as an “important new book,” and an example of “first-rate research and reporting,” and by The Washington Post as, “exceptionally well-written,” Our Mothers' War portrays women as equal partners in fighting and winning a war that forever transformed the way women participated in American society.

Readers will come to see the surprisingly vast scope of American women's experiences during that pivotal era. Our Mothers' War offers a comprehensive portrait of what American women from all walks of life were doing and thinking, on the home front and abroad.

Sparked by finding a journal and letters her mother had written home from the Pacific while serving with the Red Cross, journalist Emily Yellin embarked on a broad investigation of how the women of her mother's generation responded to this time when their country asked them to step into roles they had never been invited, or allowed, to fill before.

Drawing on a wide range of sources, including personal interviews and previously unpublished letters and diaries, Yellin brings to life intimate tales of women working as spies, war correspondents, disc jockeys, pilots, and prostitutes, as well of women building ships, planes and bombs, sending their husbands, brothers and sons off to war, and joining the military themselves for the first time in American history.

Our Mothers' War gives center stage to one of World War II’s most essential, but often overlooked, American fighting forces.