Contributor: Brittany Hopkins
A three-day weekend is just around the corner! If you're kicking yourself for not planning a getaway, don't worry. While you focus on wrapping up at the office, we'll share a few local adventures throughout the week so you can cobble together a perfect weekend.
First up, here's an adventure for our history buffs. Because Memorial Day is a day of remembrance, after all.
Rosie the Riveter Memorial @ Marina Bay Park
Across the Bay Bridge in the working-class community of Richmond, many may be surprised to find the nation's Rosie the Riveter World War II / Home Front National Historical Park. But those familiar with the working-class community's history know that this honor is well-deserved. Richmond actually earned nationally recognition for the its tremendous support of the nation's arms forces during World War II. Local women and men, as well as poor young women and girls recruited from all over the country, went to work in 56 different war industries — more than any other U.S. city. The city's population quadrupled from 1940 to 1943, and the city's four shipyards produced 747 ships — more than any other shipyard complex in the country.
Thanks to a group of Richmond citizens and the local city government, a monument now stands in Richmond's Marina Bay—a former Kaiser shipyard from World War II — to honor the 'Rosie the Riveters' and 'Wendy the Welders' who worked long and hard to support the nation's troops. While Richmond isn't regularly lauded for its public spaces, Yelpers adore this lesser-known greenspace for its deeply meaningful and very photogenic sculpture, clean environment and waterfront location.
About a mile down the San Francisco Bay Trail you'll also find the Rosie the Riveter World War II / Home Front National Historical Park, which is run by the National Park Service. There you can peruse historic buildings along the waterfront and artifacts preserved in the Visitors Education Center that illustrate the city's tremendous contributions to the national homefront effort and resulting social advances — like workplace equality for women and people of color, and early childhood education. On top of listening to oral histories recorded by actual Rosie the Riveters, you may also get the chance to meet Betty Soskin — the country's oldest working park ranger.
Sold? We thought so! The national park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, and you can find scheduled talks by Betty and other rangers here. You can download a map here and learn more about the historical sites and artifacts here. If you do check it out this weekend, be sure to comeback and let us know what you think!