Posts Tagged ‘Memorial Day’

Memorial Day – 1945 and 2015

posted on May 20, 2015

Lincoln Cushing
Heritage writer


Fore 'n' Aft, 1941-01-15, RMH

“Prefab Patriots,” article about blood donors in Fore ‘n’ Aft, 1/15/1943 (Prefabrication was one of the construction divisions in the Kaiser Richmond shipyards)

Kaiser Permanente is on a mission to hire more military veterans and is committed to leveraging veterans’ skills, attributes, and experience to further strengthen our diverse and talented workforce.

A previous history blog described Henry J. Kaiser’s support for World War II military veterans, but the Home Front workers during that war also showed their deep commitment during Memorial Day by taking on additional duties. One example was this news item from the weekly Kaiser Richmond shipyard newspaper Fore ‘n’ Aft, June 8, 1945:

“Mobile blood bank a big success”

They turned the personnel training building in Yard Two into an experimental station last week. That is, it began as an experiment, but it wasn’t very long before everyone realized the idea was a huge success which should be carried into the other yards.

The theory was that if a mobile blood bank unit came into the yard it would be swamped with workers who wanted to donate blood. [But with good planning and logistics it worked out.] On Memorial Day there was a continual line of workers to and from the personnel training building from 8:45 a.m. until 2 p.m.

When the final check was made, 265 pints of blood had been donated. Two hundred and sixty-five pints of blood donated in one day by one yard is a record-breaking figure. It’s also much more than that. It’s life to a great many of our fighting men who might otherwise not ever return from battle fronts.

Bringing this Home Front commitment to the present, Kaiser Permanente plays a leadership role in shaping the future of health care delivery both in America and across the globe. Kaiser Permanente offers a challenging and meaningful career at an organization that values the unique strengths veterans bring to the civilian workforce.

Veterans are encouraged to take that next step and visit the Kaiser Permanente Military Careers site. A Military Skills Translator will assess one’s service experience and recommend appropriate civilian Kaiser Permanente career opportunities, and a Military Talent Community email list offers an additional channel to receive career updates and tailored information.

Kaiser Permanente is not just committed to hiring military talent—it promises to provide newly hired veterans with the resources and training they need to perform successfully in their initial roles and the ongoing support to achieve success.


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Ceremony to unveil permanent exhibits at California WWII Home Front park on May 24

posted on May 10, 2014

SS Red Oak Victory pancake brunch cool option
for Mother’s Day: SF Bay Trail celebrates 25 years

Visitors Education Center preview in 2012. Temporary exhibits have been replaced with new interactive displays.

Rosie the Riveter national park Visitor Education Center preview in 2012. Temporary exhibits have been replaced with new interactive displays to be unveiled to the public May 24. Photo by Joe Paolazzi

By Ginny McPartland
Heritage writer

Rosie the Riveter’s dance card is full for the next two weeks at her namesake national historical park in Richmond, Calif.

The signature event is the Memorial Weekend unveiling of the park’s permanent, interactive historical exhibits on Saturday, May 24, at the Visitor Education Center. Park staff will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m.

Visitors are invited to participate in various programs offered throughout the day. For more information and directions, you may call: 510-232-5050 Ext. 0, or go to the park Web site.

After the ribbon-cutting, San Francisco Bay Trail officials will stage a 25th anniversary celebration of the 500-mile walking, biking and hiking trail.

Park officials advise arriving early because seating is limited for both events. They also urge visitors to dress warm for the cool and windy weather usual on the waterfront in the morning.

Mother’s Day can be a breeze

SS Red Oak Victory is the site of a Mother's Day pancake brunch Sunday.

SS Red Oak Victory is the site of a Mother’s Day pancake brunch Sunday.

Enjoy Mother’s Day pancake brunch this Sunday (May 11) sitting on the deck of the SS Red Oak Victory docked on the Richmond waterfront. The ship, built in Henry Kaiser’s World War II shipyards, is on the site of the former Shipyard No. 3.

A full breakfast will be served from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $7 per person.  Children under 5 eat for free.

Red Oak volunteers will give tours of the ship for an additional fee of $5 per person. The SS Red Oak Victory is berthed at 1337 Canal Blvd, Berth 6A, in Richmond.

The Richmond Museum of History operates a museum and gift shop within the Red Oak’s hold.  For more information, call 510-237-2933.

Film festival features “Swing Shift” on May 15

Also coming up is a showing of “Swing Shift,” a World War II movie starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell as California aircraft production workers who find romance on the Home Front.

This is the last in a series of historical films shown on the Red Oak Victory this spring.  The 1984 movie will be screened at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 15. Admission is $5.

More to see at historical park

The Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park offers a full schedule of ongoing programs. For example, films are shown in the visitors center theater every day.

Rosie the Riveter park visitor center on opening day in 2012. Permanent exhibits will be unveiled May 24.

Rosie the Riveter park visitor center on opening day in 2012. The center’s historical exhibits have been refreshed this spring.

Visitor center docents present programs covering many World War II themes, including the Japanese American internment, food rationing, the African American war experience, toys of the 1940s, dogs for defense and more.

On Fridays, visitors have the opportunity to meet real-life Rosies and hear their stories. “Rosie Meet and Greet” is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m. in the visitors center.

The park visitor center, located behind the historic Ford Assembly Building, is open daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond.

For more information: (510) 232-5050 x0, or visit the park Web site.

Home Front quilt show at Richmond museum

The Richmond Museum of History in downtown Richmond is exhibiting the Quilts of the World War II Home Front through June 6. Admission is $5.

Quilting expert Mary Mashuta will present “A Conversation about Story Quilts” from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 18, at the museum, 400 Nevin Ave., Richmond. The program is included with the admission fee.

For more information, call 510-235-7387 or visit the museum’s Web site.

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As World War II ended 65 years ago, Henry J. Kaiser Led the National Drive to Collect Millions of Pounds of Clothes for Overseas War Relief

posted on May 26, 2010

By Tom Debley
Director of Heritage Resources

Sixty-five years ago Friday, May 28, the New York Times reported that Henry J. Kaiser, as national chairman of the United National Clothing Collection, had announced that more than 125 million pounds had been gathered on the way to a 150-million-pound goal for overseas war relief.

It was a momentous time as America prepared for the first Memorial Day following Germany’s unconditional surrender—VE Day—less than three weeks earlier and the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt only six weeks earlier.

In an example of Henry Kaiser’s spirit of supporting the social needs of people, he had agreed in January to chair the clothing drive at the request of President Roosevelt.

Said the President in a Jan. 22 letter to Kaiser: “…As many war victims have died from exposure and a lack of adequate clothing as have died from starvation… The importance of the cause demands a leader who will stimulate thousands of our people throughout the land to give vast amounts of volunteer service, as well as inspire all Americans everywhere to contribute all the clothing they can spare. I am confident your personal leadership will command the nationwide cooperation needed for success…”

Henry Kaiser had never led such a national campaign before, but took up the cause with the same gusto with which he had built ships for the war, and which had earned him nicknames as the “can-do” industrialist and the “patriot in pinstripes.”

There is enough spare clothing in America’s clothes closets and attics,” he said, “to go far toward relieving the stress of these innocent people.”

By a mid-March kick-off, Kaiser had 2,500 volunteer local chair people lined up on his way to 7,600 for the drive. The goal was surpassed with a total of 150,366,014 pounds of used clothes, shoes and bedding shipped overseas.

Clothing drive poster was used nationwide in Henry Kaiser-led overseas war relief effort.

As if that were not enough, Kaiser repeated the feat after VJ Day— the surrender of Japan on Aug. 14, 1945.

World War II was finally over and Kaiser this time responded to a request from President Harry Truman.

The sponsoring agency for both volunteer drives was the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, which had been formed by participating World War II allied nations. It was disbanded after the war, with its functions transferred to agencies of the newly formed United Nations, establishment of which had been supported by Kaiser.

By example, Kaiser further embedded into his organizations a spirit of service to the common good that continues to this day within his lasting legacy, Kaiser Permanente, co-founded with surgeon Sidney R. Garfield and open to the public in October 1945.

As one of his biographers, Albert P. Heiner, summed it up: “…Once again, Kaiser had proved he was more than an exciting industrialist, he was a man with a heart.”

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