Society: How Women Stepped Up in World War IBreaking News
tags: World War I, women
Margaret Hall wanted to see the world. When the U.S. entered the Great War, she had her chance. In August 1918, she sailed for France to volunteer for the American Red Cross, an experience documented in her memoir "Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country." Hall embraced the new opportunities for women that the war offered, but the sight of a "girl porter" carrying her heavy baggage in Paris gave her pause. "Felt like a criminal," she wrote; "it was that or nothing, though."
A girl or nothing: The men were gone. Many would return maimed or not at all. So women worked as nurses, chauffeurs and clerks and on assembly lines. In Britain, the estimated 1 million women in munitions factories were known as "munitionettes" or—because the TNT often turned their skin yellow—as "canaries." In France, one commander estimated that if women in arms factories halted work for 20 minutes, the war would be lost.
comments powered by Disqus
- The Most Controversial Psych Study Is Repeated — Same Weird Result
- A new book explores the stunning revelation that Hemingway spied for the USSR
- A President’s Restless Corpse May Be on the Move Again in Tennessee
- How China and the U.S. might collide — or not
- Major Viking Age Archaeological Find Discovered in Denmark
- The New York Times celebrates biographer Richard Holmes
- Historians are in demand! (On cruise ships)
- Douglas Brinkley says there’s a "smell of treason in the air"
- Mary Maples Dunn, Advocate of Women’s Colleges and President of Smith, Dies at 85
- Gil Troy says Jews and Israelis are the victims of a “Hate Swarm”