The Detroit-area factory where Rosie the Riveter showed that a woman could do a "man's work" by building World War II-era bombers has been saved from the wrecking ball, organizers of a campaign to build a museum on the site announced today. The site's manager had given the Save the Willow Run Bomber Plant campaign a deadline of today to raise the $8 million needed to buy a 150,000-square-foot portion of the larger property. As recently as Tuesday morning, the group was about $1 million short of its goal, but later in the day "closed on a big one," fundraising consultant Michael Montgomery said.
That allowed Montgomery and his partners to get "within spitting distance of the full eight (million)" and enough to go forward with a purchase agreement, which he expects to be finalized in seven to 10 days. Meanwhile, those behind the effort will go back to raising the additional dollars needed to make the new Yankee Air Museum a reality. Its exhibits will focus on the history of the plant and vintage aircraft, but Rosie will be a star as well, just as she was seven decades ago. Click for more on the history of the plant and Rose Will Monroe, who caught the eye of Hollywood producers casting a "riveter" for a government film about the war effort at home. (More Rosie the Riveter stories.)