Army Signal Corps and were sent into harm's way were all told they were actually well-paid civilian contractors, said Theres, a Gulf War veteran who earned degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Cardinal Stritch University and now lives in Washington, D. This group achieved the highest aspiration of nearly every female Signal Corps member: to serve as near the battle as possible. Fortunately, women were quick to respond. Elizabeth Cobbs reveals the day-to-day challenges these patriotic young women faced in a war zone where male soldiers resented, wooed, mocked, saluted, and ultimately celebrated them. The women of the Signal Corps prepare to depart for the war. Pershing, sent 223 American women to France because they were masters of the latest technology: the telephone switchboard.
In the first week of December 1918, before the War Department even had the chance to print out applications, they received 7,600 letters from women enquiring about the first 100 positions in the Signal Corps. A history completely unknown to me, and probably almost everyone else. My two heroines are Grace Banker and Merle Egan. That meant the women handled national security secrets, frequently served near the front lines and came under bombardment, and quickly, efficiently and calmly handled numerous calls. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women to France to help win World War I. The Hello Girls were a name for the telephone operators that worked during World War I to connect leaders and officials on the war front and at home.
I could hardly get through a few pages without reading some passage aloud to my husband--it's that kind of book. She had an eye to history, and I love that about her. Back then, apparently America had one of the more advanced communication devices in the world. This was two years before women in America were allowed to vote. Army known as the Signal Corps. What role did the telephone play in getting women to the front? They were masters of the latest technology: the telephone switchboard.
Trucks had overtaken mule trains. In addition to describing their tour of service and what they faced, Cobbs also provides a thorough background explanation of the political tenor of the times with regard to suffrage and international relations that explain why the Hello Girls' status within the Army was so controversial. Director's Bio James William Theres is an award-winning public affairs officer and speechwriter at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington D. Pershing requested that he be sent women switchboard operators to facilitate communications between American headquarters and soldiers in the field. They received a baptism by fire when German troops pounded Paris with heavy artillery. They were masters of the latest communications technology: the telephone switchboard.
Revisiting this moment reminds us that institutions sometimes fight innovation. All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted. You never took an oath. One of them, their leader Grace Banker, won the Distinguished Service Medal awarded by Pershing, which was the top medal for officer at that time. Worldwide, the war was the thing that enabled women in multiple countries to get the vote.
Their victory, like most victories, was partial. The most powerful trends are global, making them harder to resist. Army Signal Corps sent 223 woman to France during World War I. Elizabeth Cobbs reveals the challenges they faced in a war zone where male soldiers welcomed, resented, wooed, mocked, saluted, and ultimately celebrated them. Why focus on suffrage, for example, rather than other critical women's issues raised by this topics, such as the history of women's service in American wars? The signal could be plucked out of the air and you could trace where it came from. Their remarkable stories come alive in Cobbs's wonderfully absorbing narrative as does the world of contradictions in which they lived and served. The Army discharged the last Hello Girls in 1920, the year Congress ratified the Nineteenth Amendment granting women the ballot.
Courtesy of Robert, Grace and Carolyn Timbie How did you find information about the women featured in your book? On November 11, 1918, the Armistice Treaty officially shut down hostilities between the Allies and Germany, ending what was the deadliest war the world had seen at that time. The women apparently found all this a great adventure; after months of delay, they were finally sent overseas, experiencing the discomfort and fear of an ocean crossing over submarine-infested waters. French pornography of the 1910s, it was very tasteful. This engaging history crackles with admiration for the women who served in the U. Smartly, she also walks us through the sundry and simultaneous technical demands of switchboard operating, noting that women could connect five calls in the time it took a man to complete one.
It was the amount of money equivalent to buying a car. They observed strict military protocol, they were subject to court-martial, and many found themselves stationed a few short miles from the front during the bloodiest days of that very bloody war, at outposts that came under sustained mortar fire. If America was going to position and command its immense forces, it needed women to handle the advanced technologies at which they were expert. Army for 60 years as for heading up the switchboard for the Versailles conference. Their brave, impassioned 25-year-old leader won the Distinguished Service Medal. Merle Egan Anderson was 91 when her fight for justice was finally realized. The country was fascinated, and followed their training and deployment closely.
A small group followed Pershing wherever he made his headquarters, from the short but intense Battle of St. In the last months of the war, when the Americans at last began to fight, the women were right there, through the mud and cold and bombardments. They turned out to be essential, allowing military commanders to communicate quickly and clearly over the hundreds of miles of sprawling, devastated battlefields. Unlike today, making telephone calls, especially long distance was a lot more complicated as calls would need to be connected through an operator who would then need to figure out the correct lines. When the operators sailed home, the army unexpectedly dismissed them without veterans' benefits.
Men called th In 1918, the U. Producer Elizabeth Cobbs is scheduled to attend. Military tackle had undergone a revolution since the last Indian wars only two decades earlier, when Black Jack rode with the Buffalo Soldiers of the Tenth Cavalry. Their brave, impassioned 25-year-old leader won the Distinguished Service Medal. While the title of this book is accurate, it delivers far more than the war experience, fleshing out the time period and the role the Hello Girls had in moving women's rights forward. Women used the conflict to achieve their longstanding demand for full citizenship. In addition to the four million American men who returned home from the battlefields of Europe were 450 American women who served as telephone operators, comprising the Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit.