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A national park in Richmond may expand following legislation introduced in Congress, an elected official announced Thursday.
Sens. Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Mark DeSaulnier are seeking to add Nystrom Elementary School to Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park as the school educated children whose mothers worked in the shipyards as Rosie the Riveters.
Other sites might also be added to the park’s boundaries, Padilla’s office said. No additional sites have been identified but the legislation will pave the way for more if they are.
“Nystrom Elementary allowed school children to get an education, while their mothers — real life Rosie the Riveters — were hard at work.”Sen. Alex Padilla
“As women entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers, public education for their children also had to adapt,” Padilla said in a statement. “Nystrom Elementary allowed school children to get an education, while their mothers — real life Rosie the Riveters — were hard at work.”
Adaptation included placing schools like Nystrom Elementary near child care centers like the Maritime Child Development Center, which is in the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park.
Padilla’s office said that preserving Nystrom Elementary School helps tell the story of adaptation.
Feinstein added, “During World War II, California played an important role in supporting the war effort. Nystrom Elementary School is a significant part of that story. Preserving the school as part of the historic park will help honor the sacrifices made by those on the home front.”
Thousands of women at home aided the nation in World War II and at the same time eroded gender barriers in the workforce, DeSaulnier said. Each woman deserves to be recognized, he said.
“By expanding this culturally significant site to include the Nystrom Elementary School, which was built to teach the children of Rosies while they contributed to the war effort, we can ensure that their legacy lives on in our community and their heroism is never forgotten,” DeSaulnier said in a statement.
Padilla noted he wants to see more diversity in the National Park System. He said recently that “not nearly enough sites celebrate the contributions of women to our nation’s history.”