"GAIL MURPHY: COLORADO'S ROSIE THE RIVETER"
THE STORY: In 1996 I moved from teaching US History at the middle school level to teaching US History in a high school. I knew that in teaching World War II and women's roles, I wanted to present the topic in a way that would be more meaningful and in more depth than what was in the textbook. I had done research on the Denver Ordnance Plant - now the Denver Federal Center - and knew that that would be a perfect vehicle. So I scoured Broadway antique shops for props and developed my story as Gail Murphy, a bullet case worker at the plant. From that humble beginning, I added more and more props and expanded the presentation. Soon I was presenting to women's auxiliaries, clubs, organizations, churches, senior citizen groups and facilities. Some were only a few miles from my home; others were as far away as Omaha, Nebraska, and Telluride, Colorado.
THE LEGACY: The best part of presenting the contributions of American women to the World War II effort was meeting many, many "Rosies," female military veterans, male veterans, and others who labored behind the scenes to support and care for our servicemen. The stories they told me in Q & A sessions and afterwards were so inspiring that I knew I had found the topic for my next book. And thus, Colorado Women in World War II was born.
PRESENTATIONS: For a fee, you may schedule a presentation of Gail Murphy. Generally, the presentation is 35-40 minutes followed by a Q & A session. Contact me at for more details.
Comments from members of the audience for
“Gail Murphy: Colorado’s Rosie the Riveter”:
"You have an amazing grasp of the history and culture of the time."
“Outstanding and informative — as a lover of history — this was fantastic!”
“This was so good. What a way to honor the past.”
“This was an inspiring presentation Everyone should get to experience this.”
“Gail was excellent in character and out!”
“Loved this presentation! Interesting, informative.”
"History Buff. I appreciated the "personalization." Presenter was excellent."