13 American Women Who Changed The World PDF Free Download

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The United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917, when the U.S. Congress agreed to a declaration of war. Faced with mobilizing a sufficient fighting force, Congress passed the Selective Service Act on May 18, 1917. By the end of the war, the SSA had conscripted over 2.8 million American men. PDF Drive is your search engine for PDF files. As of today we have 80,356,811 eBooks for you to download for free. No annoying ads, no download limits, enjoy it and don't forget to bookmark and share the love!

Women working in the Churchill Machine Tool Co Ltd factory in 1916, filling in for men while they were absent.

World War I marked the first war in which American women were allowed to enlist in the armed forces. While thousands of women did join branches of the army in an official capacity, receiving veterans status and benefits after the war's close, the majority of female involvement was done through voluntary organizations supporting the war effort or through becoming a nurse for the military.[1][2] Additionally, women made an impact on the war indirectly by filling the workforce, becoming employed in the jobs left behind by male soldiers.

U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard[edit]

More than 1,476 U.S. Navy nurses (American military nurses were all women then) served in military hospitals stateside and overseas. Over 400 U.S. military nurses died in service, almost all from the Spanish flu epidemic which swept through crowded military camps, hospitals, and ports of embarkation.[3][4]

The first American women enlisted into the regular armed forces were 13,000 women admitted into active duty in the U.S. Navy. They served stateside in jobs and received the same benefits and responsibilities as men, including identical pay (US$28.75 per month), and were treated as veterans after the war.

13 American Women Who Changed The World PDF Free Download13 american women who changed the world pdf free download freeThe

The U.S. Marine Corps enlisted 305 female Marine Reservists (F) to 'free men to fight' by filling positions such as clerks and telephone operators on the home front.

13 American Women Who Changed The World PDF Free Download

In 1918 during the war, twin sisters Genevieve and Lucille Baker transferred from the Naval Coastal Defense Reserve and became the first uniformed women to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard.[5][6][7][8] Before the war ended, several more women joined them, all of them serving in the Coast Guard at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington.[8]

These women were demobilized when hostilities ceased, and aside from the Nurse Corps, the uniformed military became once again exclusively male. In 1942, women were brought into the military again, largely following the British model.[9][10]

U.S. Army[edit]

During the course of the war, 21,498 U.S. Army nurses (American military nurses were all women then) served in military hospitals in the United States and overseas. Many of these women were positioned near to battlefields, and they tended to over a million soldiers who had been wounded or were unwell.[11] 272 U.S. Army nurses died of disease (mainly tuberculosis, influenza, and pneumonia).[12] Eighteen African-American Army nurses served stateside caring for German prisoners of war (POWs) and African-American soldiers. They were assigned to Camp Grant, IL, and Camp Sherman, OH, and lived in segregated quarters.[3][13][5]

Hello Girls was the colloquial name for American female switchboard operators in World War I, formally known as the Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit. During World War I, these switchboard operators were sworn into the Army Signal Corps.[14] This corps was formed in 1917 from a call by General John J. Pershing to improve the worsening state of communications on the Western front. Applicants for the Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit had to be bilingual in English and French to ensure that orders would be heard by anyone. Over 7,000 women applied, but only 450 women were accepted. Many of these women were former switchboard operators or employees at telecommunications companies.[14] Despite the fact that they wore Army Uniforms and were subject to Army Regulations (and Chief Operator Grace Banker received the Distinguished Service Medal),[15] they were not given honorable discharges but were considered 'civilians' employed by the military, because Army Regulations specified the male gender. Not until 1978, the 60th anniversary of the end of World War I, did Congress approve veteran status and honorable discharges for the remaining women who had served in the Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit.[16]

Labor movement and working women[edit]

During WWI, large numbers of women were recruited into jobs that had either been vacated by men who had gone to fight in the war, or had been created as part of the war effort. The high demand for weapons and the overall wartime situation resulted in munitions factories collectively becoming the largest employer of American women by 1918. While there was initial resistance to hiring women for jobs traditionally held by men, the war made the need for labor so urgent that women were hired in large numbers and the government even actively promoted the employment of women in war-related industries through recruitment drives. As a result, women not only began working in heavy industry, but also took other jobs traditionally reserved solely for men, such as railway guards, ticket collectors, bus and tram conductors, postal workers, police officers, firefighters, and clerks.[17]

World War I saw women taking traditionally men's jobs in large numbers for the first time in American history. Many women worked on the assembly lines of factories, producing trucks and munitions, while department stores employed African American women as elevator operators and cafeteria waitresses for the first time. The Food Administration helped housewives prepare more nutritious meals with less waste and with optimum use of the foods available. Most important, the morale of the women remained high, as millions joined the Red Cross as volunteers to help soldiers and their families, and with rare exceptions, the women did not protest the draft.[18][17]

The Department of Labor created a Women in Industry group, headed by prominent labor researcher and social scientist Mary van Kleeck.[19] This group helped develop standards for women who were working in industries connected to the war alongside the War Labor Policies Board, of which van Kleeck was also a member. After the war, the Women in Industry Service group developed into the U.S. Women's Bureau, headed by Mary Anderson.[20][21]

Voluntary and third party organizations[edit]

Social status often dictated the way in which a woman was involved in the war effort. Working-class women were generally the ones enlisting in the armed forces or taking over jobs left behind, while middle and upper-class women generally participated in voluntary organizations.[22] These were the women with more free time, whose living standards did not necessitate that they earn a salary. One prominent issue at the outset of the war was how to organize and coordinate female support and service, which led for female leaders to push for the creation of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense (WCND), established by the Wilson administration to serve as an advisory committee.[23] The Committee appropriated projects to voluntary organizations such as the Red Cross, Women's Temperance Union and others, in order to drum up support for the war and mobilize the female half of the population amidst rising manpower concerns.

Women and the anti-war movement[edit]

While women were lauded for their patriotism and support in the Great War, many were also involved in protesting the war and encouraging an internationally agreed upon framework for a return to peace. Alice Paul, the famed advocate for women's suffrage, led the National Women's Party in multiple protests at the White House. One argument commonly made was that the United States should not have been intervening abroad, when they were still not providing equal rights and assurances to its own citizens, including still not allowing women to vote. The Women's Peace Party, led by President Jane Addams, was another strong voice that came out in opposition to the war. By 1915, the organization had over 40,000 members. Jane Addams met with President Woodrow Wilson six separate times to discuss the war.[24]

People Who Changed The World

Prominent women in World War I[edit]

  • 1908: Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee: was a Canadian-born US Army nurse, and the first woman for which a US Naval Ship was named. Lenah was one of the first twenty women to join the Navy Nurse Corps in 1908. She rose through the ranks and served as the second Superintendent of the US Navy Nurse Corps during World War I. She was one of four women to be awarded the Navy Cross, and the only one out of the four to be alive at the time of receiving the award. After her death in 1941, the USS Higbee, a US Naval warship, was commissioned in 1945.
  • 1917: Loretta Perfectus Walsh became the first active-duty U.S. Navy woman, and the first woman to serve in any of the U.S. armed forces in a non-nurse occupation on enlisting in the U.S. Naval Reserve on March 17, 1917. Walsh subsequently became the first woman U.S. Navy petty officer when she was sworn in as Chief Yeoman on March 21, 1917.
  • 1917: Julia Hunt Catlin Park DePew Taufflieb was the first American woman to be awarded the French Croix de Guerre and Legion d’honneur, because she had transformed her mansion into a hospital near the front lines of battle in France. The hospital held 300 beds, and its location was prime for aiding wounded troops. She inspired many other Americans to join the war effort by opening up their own hospitals.
  • 1917: In 1917 World War I Army nurses Edith Ayres and Helen Wood (nurses held no rank during World War I) became the first female members of the U.S. military killed in the line of duty. They were killed on May 20, 1917, while with Base Hospital #12 aboard the USS Mongolia en route to France. The ship's crew fired the deck guns during a practice drill, and one of the guns exploded, spewing shell fragments across the deck and killing Nurse Ayres and her friend Nurse Helen Wood.[25]
  • 1918: Jane Arminda Delano worked as an Army nurse during the Spanish–American War, and continued her work with the Red Cross after that time. During World War I, Jane stayed on the home front and organized nurses to go overseas and work with wounded soldiers. She was in charge of over 20,000 nurses, who all worked in vital roles overseas in the war. In 1918, Jane went to Europe to attend a nursing conference and to continue her work. However, she fell ill there and passed away in 1919. Because of her illnesses, she could not work as much as she liked, and her last words were 'I must get back to my work'. She was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the Secretary of the US Army.
  • May 30, 1918: Frances Gulick was a US Y.M.C.A. welfare worker who was awarded a United States Army citation for valor and courage on the field during the aerial bombardment of Varmaise, Oise, France.[26]
  • August 13, 1918: Opha May Johnson became the first woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps as part of the United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve.
  • 1918: Twin sisters Genevieve and Lucille Baker of the Naval Coastal Defense Reserve became the first uniformed women to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard.[5][27][28]
  • 2007: The last U.S. female veteran of World War I died, a former yeoman (F) named Charlotte Winters.[29]
  • During her time in France, Mildred Aldrich wrote 3 books, (A Hilltop on the Marne (1915), On the Edge of the War Zone (1917), and When Johnny Comes Marching Home (1919)).The French believed these books helped convince the American government to declare war on Germany. Aldrich was awarded the Legion of Honour by the French Government for this.[30]

See also[edit]


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  1. ^Clyde Clarke, Ida (1918). American Women and the World War. New York: D. Appleton and Company. ISBN978-1116998153.
  2. ^National Museum of American History (2018). 'Women in World War I'. National Museum of American History. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  3. ^ ab'Women's History Chronology'. United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
  4. ^'Highlights in the History of Military Women'. Archived from the original on 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
  5. ^ abc'Women in the military — international'. CBC News. 30 May 2006. Archived from the original on March 28, 2013.
  6. ^'Women's History Chronology', Women & the U. S. Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
  7. ^'Women In Military Service For America Memorial'. Womensmemorial.org. 1950-07-27. Archived from the original on 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
  8. ^ ab'The Long Blue Line: A brief history of women's service in the Coast Guard 'Coast Guard Compass Archive'. Coastguard.dodlive.mil. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  9. ^Susan H. Godson, Serving Proudly: A History of Women in the U.S. Navy (2002)
  10. ^Jeanne Holm, Women in the Military: An Unfinished Revolution (1993) pp 3-21
  11. ^Alzo, Lisa A. (August 2014). 'Service women: discover the experiences of your female ancestors who nursed soldiers and served on the home front during World War I'. Family Tree Magazine. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  12. ^'Army Nurses of World War One: Service Beyond Expectations - Army Heritage Center Foundation'.
  13. ^'Highlights in the History of Military Women'. Archived from the original on 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
  14. ^ abMalmstrom Airforce BaseArchived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^Sterling, Christopher H. (2008). Military Communications: From Ancient Times to the 21st Century. ABC-CLIO., p.55, ISBN978-1-85109-732-6.
  16. ^'Hello Girls'. U.S. Army Signal Museum. Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2010-01-23.
  17. ^ abGavin, Lettie (2006). American Women in World War I: They Also Served. Boulder: University Press of Colorado. ISBN0870818252.
  18. ^Beamish and March (1919). America's Part in the World War. pp. 259–72.
  19. ^'Biographical/Historical - Mary van Kleeck'. findingaids.smith.edu. Smith College Special Collections. Retrieved 2019-09-05.
  20. ^'Collection: Mary van Kleeck papers Smith College Special Collections'. findingaids.smith.edu. Retrieved 2019-09-05.
  21. ^'United States Women's Bureau United States federal agency'. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-09-05.
  22. ^'Women in World War I'. National Museum of American History. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  23. ^Dumenil, Lynn (2002). 'OpenAM (Login)'. OAH Magazine of History. 17 (1): 35–39. doi:10.1093/maghis/17.1.35. JSTOR25163562.
  24. ^'World War I Anniversary: American Women Who Changed WWI'. Time. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  25. ^'Women in Military Service for America Memorial'. Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation. Archived from the original on 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
  26. ^Mayo, Katherine (May 2009). 'That Damn Y' a Record of Overseas Service. Bibliographical Center for Research. ISBN9781110810208. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
  27. ^'Women's History Chronology'. Uscg.mil. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
  28. ^'Women In Military Service For America Memorial'. Womensmemorial.org. 1950-07-27. Archived from the original on 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
  29. ^Women In Military Service For America MemorialArchived 2013-04-03 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^Simkin, John (September 1997). 'Mildred Aldrich'. Spartacus Educational. Retrieved April 23, 2019.

External links[edit]

  • Jensen, Kimberly: Women's Mobilization for War (USA), in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War.

Further reading[edit]

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  • Beamish, Richard Joseph; Francis Andrew March (1919). America's Part in the World War: A History of the Full Greatness of Our Country's Achievements; the Record of the Mobilization and Triumph of the Military, Naval, Industrial and Civilian Resources of the United States. Philadelphia: John C. Winston Company. pp. 259–72.
  • Dumenil, Lynn. The Second Line of Defense: American Women and World War I (U of North Carolina Press, 2017). xvi, 340 pp.
  • Greenwald, Maurine W. Women, War, and Work: The Impact of World War I on Women Workers in the United States (1990) ISBN0313213550
  • Jensen, Kimberly. Mobilizing Minerva: American Women in the First World War. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2008. ISBN9780252032370
  • Sklar, Kathryn Kish. 'Jane Addams's Peace Activism, 1914-1922: A Model for Women Today.' Women's Studies Quarterly 23#3/4 (1995): 32–47. online
  • Zeiger, Susan L. 'She Didn't Raise Her Boy to Be a Slacker: Motherhood, Conscription, and the Culture of the First World War.' Feminist Studies 22#1 (1996): 7-39. online

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Women in uniform[edit]

  • Bizri, Zayna N. 'Recruiting Women into the World War II Military: The Office of War Information, Advertising and Gender' (PhD Dissertation. George Mason University, 2017) abstract p online at Proquest Dissertations
  • Campbell, D'Ann. 'Women in the American Military.' in James C. Bradford, ed., A Companion to American Military History (2010): 2:869-879.
  • Ebbert, Jean and Marie-Beth Hall (2002). The First, the Few, the Forgotten: Navy and Marine Corps Women in World War I. Annapolis, MD: The Naval Institute Press. ISBN978-1-55750-203-2.
  • Frahm, Jill. 'The Hello Girls: Women Telephone Operators with the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I.' Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 3#3 (2004): 271–293. online
  • Irwin, Julia F. 'Nation Building and Rebuilding: The American Red Cross in Italy during the Great War.' Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 8#3 (2009): 407–39. online
  • Prickett, Carolyn M. 'Leadership Case Studies from Women Serving During World War I' (US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth, 2017) online bibliography pp 70–79.
  • Schneider, Dorothy, and Carl J. Schneider. Into the Breach: American Women Overseas in World War I (1991)
  • Wagner, Nancy O'Brien. 'Awfully Busy These Days: Red Cross Women in France during World War I.' Minnesota History 63#1 (2012): 24–35. online
  • Zeiger, Susan. In Uncle Sam's Service: Women Workers with the American Expeditionary Force, 1917-1919 (Cornell UP, 1999).
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