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Worker Wednesday: Women’s History Month

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For the month of March, Women’s History Month, the blog series, Worker Wednesday, devoted to war production employee and their publications, in particular those of Higgins Industries, the Eureka and Higgins Worker, will focus on women workers.

This week’s Worker Wednesday deviates from Higgins Industries to spotlight a worker from Delta Shipyards, another New Orleans production facility which employed thousands of women workers.

Rose Rita Samona completed 204 hours of training at the National Defense School on Frenchmen St. in New Orleans. She was trained in straight-line free hand burning, free hand circles, angles and machine burning. Samona, 22, was welcomed into the International Brotherhood of Boiler Makers, Iron Ship Builders and Helpers of America. From May 1943 to January 1946 she worked as a burner for Delta Shipyards, cutting and burning holes in sheets of steel for the production of Liberty ships at the rate of $1.20 per day. Burners often qualified for extra money because of the dangers involved in the job. And indeed in November 1945 Samona had a minor injury when steel fell while she was working, burning her leg. She received the “E-award” and Ships for Victory medal for excellence in war production, given for outstanding job performance.

See related items in our current special exhibit, Manufacturing Victory: The Arsenal of Democracy.

Join us at the Museum on March 28th for a special Women’s History Month event “Beyond Rosie: Women’s Roles on the American Home Front.” See here for more details.

Post by Curator Kimberly Guise.

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