By Kathy Chotueau
Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) has introduced legislation to expand the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park to include a local elementary school.
The Rosie the Riveter National Historic Site Expansion Act (H.R. 7585) would add Richmond’s Nystrom Elementary School to the existing national park. Aligning with Congressman DeSaulnier’s efforts are Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who are introducing companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.
Located just north of the national park, Nystrom Elementary was built during World War II to accommodate the large influx of families that relocated to Richmond to work at the Kaiser Shipyards.
Nystrom was constructed as part of a planned development that includes the Maritime Child Development Center and the Nystrom Housing Area. The child development center was previously added to the national park, while the housing area is set for forthcoming preservation and redevelopment by the City of Richmond.
“Richmond and West Contra Costa played a pivotal role in our nation’s efforts in World War II. We owe it to the families who helped write that history to share their stories. By expanding this culturally significant site, visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the Nystrom School, which was built to teach the children of shipyard workers,” said Congressman DeSaulnier.
The law that formed the national park requires Congressional approval of any additions to it. If the bill passes, it would empower the National Park to add other historically relevant sites to the park in the future.
Learn more about the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park here.