FDR at the Martin Bomber Plant

World War II raged in both theaters as President Franklin Roosevelt set out on a seventeen-city tour. The Omaha World-Herald reported on April 30, 1943, that the president visited “11 army posts, a WAAC school, a naval air training center and four war plants.”

Among the stops was Omaha on April 26, where he visited the Glenn L. Martin Bomber Plant in nearby Bellevue. Flanked by Secret Service agents, in this photo he inspects B-26 Marauders, planes that saw action in both Europe and the Pacific. Roosevelt was accompanied by Nebraska Governor Dwight Griswold (back seat, left), Glenn Martin (middle), and plant manager G. T. Wiley.

At the end of his tour President Roosevelt reported that he was “impressed with America’s military and industrial proficiency” and that the aviation plants had a workforce that was 30 to 50 percent female. Rosie the Riveter had arrived in the aviation industry.

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History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
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