‘Rosie the Riveter’ receives diploma

(WDSU) There was a cap and gown and pomp and circumstance Tuesday in Metairie, Louisiana. It was graduation day for 97-year-old Katherine Summers Martinson.

“Never thought I’d have a diploma,” Martinson said.

She grew up in Mississippi and she finished 11th grade but did not get to graduate. Martinson quit school to help her family during The Great Depression. As that ended, World War II was just beginning.

“During the war, I took a shop course. That’s how I learned how to use the tools to do the riveting,” she said. “It was a good group we worked with. We enjoyed our work. (It was) everything for the country at that time.”

A real-life “Rosie the Riveter,” she was one of thousands of woman who worked in factories and shipyards in support of our country’s war effort.

“That was so many years ago,” she said.

It might have been years ago, but never far from her mind was the diploma she always longed for.

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