Bill to Break the Sound Barrier
If you were the first woman to break the sound barrier, who would you pick to fly the chase plane behind you?
Jacqueline Cochran tapped her friend, Colonel Chuck Yeager for the task for her May 18, 1953 flight. A logical decision, since he was the first pilot to break the barrier in 1947.
Here is his final bill for his expenses, including the replacement of dead chickens that stampeded when her low-flying Sabre jet flew over a ranch.
-from the Eisenhower Library
Kaiser shipyards, Richmond, California. Miss Eastine Cowner, a former waitress, is helping in her job as a scaler to construct the Liberty Ship SS George Washington Carver launched on May 7, 1943.
From the series: Negro Activities in Industry, Government, and the Armed Forces from the Records of the Office of War Information.
Happy International Dance Day!
Carmencita, Spanish Dance, 03/1894
William Heise, cinematographer. William Dickson, producer. From the Motion Picture Films series of the Thomas Armat Collection
Likely the oldest motion picture in the National Archives’ holdings, this Kinetoscope is one of the first films produced by Edison Studios. (A longer clip is available on the National Archives’ YouTube Channel.)
As Administrative Professionals Week comes to a close, do you have what it takes to succeed?
Brooke’s Your Reflector Number I (Personality) Quiz from the Secretarial Training Program in Waco, Texas from January 1959 to June 1959 (Online catalog identifier 7280725).
Among the holdings of the National Archives at Fort Worth are the records of the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (RG 300). These documents, dating from the late 1950s to the late 1960s, offer insights into how secretaries were viewed and trained. They also offer a glimpse of an era gone by.
This flashback comes courtesy of our colleagues at the National Archives at Fort Worth, and their blog series: Flashback! Secretaries of the 1950s and 1960s: Do You Have What it Takes to be One
How did you score? Do you have a “good personality rating for the business world”?
The “Iron Lady:” Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, October 13, 1925 - April 8, 2013
- Photograph of President Reagan walking with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at Camp David, 11/06/1986. ARC Identifier 198578
- Jimmy Carter with Margaret Thatcher, 09/13/1977. ARC Identifier 176181
- President Bush Presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, 03/07/1991. ARC Identifier 672821
Photograph of a Broken Fire Escape after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, 03/25/1911
One of the deadliest industrial disasters in United States history, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City left 146 workers dead in 18 minutes on March 25, 1911.
Locked doors kept the workers from escaping; there was not enough water to put out the flames, and firemen’s ladders were too short to reach the upper stories. Many of the young women and men working there leapt out the windows and fell to their deaths onto the sidewalk outside. Others were crushed in the elevator shaft or when the fire escape collapsed.
The fire led to sweeping reforms in labor laws and safety standards, providing a boost to labor unions, and was a pivotal event in the career of future labor secretary Frances Perkins.
(Last year’s post has additional photos of the fire and the victims, a few may be considered graphic.)
Happy Pi(e) Day!
Pie Judging Contest with Dr. Louise Stanley and Mary Lindsay
From the series: Photographs of Nutrition Investigations, 1904 - 1939 from the Records of the Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics, 1904 - 1939
(Our longtime followers may recall we ran this last year too — please don’t ‘judge’ us too harshly…)
On Thursday, March 14, at 7 p.m., the National Archives hosts the Sixth Annual McGowan Forum on Women in Leadership.
This year’s special program focuses on women in military leadership and explores changes that have taken place in the roles, opportunities, expectations and obstacles for women in military leadership positions.
A distinguished panel of experts will discuss their personal journeys and share advice for young women entering the field.
Moderated by Gale S. Pollock, Major General, U.S. Army (Retired), CRNA, FACHE, FAAN, and former Acting Surgeon General, panelists include Carol Mutter, Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired); Christine S. Hunter, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired); Sandra A. Gregory, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force (Retired); Clara Adams-Ender, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Retired); and Gina S. Farrisee, U.S. Army Major General (Retired).
This public program is free and no registration is required. It will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW.
This program is presented in partnership with the Women’s Forum of Washington, DC, and the Military Officers Association of America, and is generously supported by the Foundation for the National Archives and the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Inc.
Image: “Lt.(jg.) Harriet Ida Pickens and Ens. Frances Wills, first Negro Waves to be commissioned. They were members of the final graduating class at Naval Reserve Midshipmen’s School (WR) Northampton, MA,” 12/21/1944, Record Group 80, ARC 520670.
March 8 is International Women’s Day, and this March also marks the 100th Anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Parade in Washington DC. Be sure to check out one of the latest boards on Pinterest, “A National Policy of Nagging,” documenting some of the struggles of early suffragists:
A National Policy of Nagging
Suffragists faced a difficult road in their march towards equality. Even women opposed giving women the right to vote. One letter from Alice H. Wadsworth, President of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, calls it “an endorsement of nagging as a national policy.” March 3 marks 100 years since suffragists marched on Washington. In honor of this event, the 19th Amendment will be on display from March 1 to March 8, 2013.
(Ed. note: corrected 19th Amendment exhibit end date to March 8.)
Frances Perkins: First Woman Cabinet member
80 years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt notified the U.S. Senate on March 4, 1933, that he had nominated Frances Perkins of New York to be Secretary of Labor. A lifelong labor reformer, she rose to prominence following the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. She was confirmed as Secretary of Labor and became the first woman appointed to a Cabinet position. She was the longest serving Labor secretary, serving for 12 years between 1933 and 1945. She was also the first woman to enter the Presidential Line of Succession.
Keep reading at Prologue: A Factory Fire and Frances Perkins
Suffrage and suffering at the “Women’s Suffrage Parade” in Washington DC, March 3, 1913:
One hundred years ago on March 3, supporters of woman suffrage marched through Washington, DC. Held the day before Woodrow Wilson’s presidential inauguration, the parade was preceded by a series of “suffrage hikes” in New York and elsewhere intended to bring attention to the lack of voting rights for women. However, the marchers were met by crowds of unruly men. The police did nothing, and the treatment of the women by the crowds caused an outcry.
The women testified about their experiences—some noted the lack of police or their indifference and applauded the Boy Scouts for being more effective than the police. Others described drunken men along the parade route hooting and jeering at them, blocking their path, and making insulting remarks (one young girl was called a “Georgia Peach”—an indignity at the time).
A resolution from the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage in King’s County noted that the women in the parade, “many of whom were among the finest intellectual leaders of their sex, were … subject to insult, ribaldry, and personal abuse.”
The day after the parade, the Senate passed a resolution authorizing the Committee on the District of Columbia to investigate the handling of the incident by the police.
This photograph of the parade comes from that investigation:
“Exhibit 36, View of the Woman Suffrage Parade from the Willard Hotel, Washington DC, from the Hearings before the Subcommittee of the Committee of the District of Columbia of the United States Senate, pursuant to S. Res 499, March 4, 1913, 63rd Congress (Y4.D63/2:W84); RG 287, National Archives”
Read the full story of the parade and the hearing at Prologue: Pieces of History » Suffrage and suffering at the 1913 March
As 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of this watershed event, be sure to watch for more #Suffrage13 features from the National Archives, including:
March is Women’s History Month!
Photograph, Suffrage Parade, 1913
From the Series: Photographs Used in Publications, Records of the Office of War Information, Record Group 208
As March 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the watershed Women’s Suffrage Parade in Washington DC, be sure to watch for more #Suffrage13 features from the National Archives, including:
A Report of an Exploration of the Country Lying between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains on the Line of the Kansas and Great Platte Rivers,” by John Charles Frémont, March 1, 1843
The official report from John C. Frémont, explorer, soldier, & politician, on his expedition into the Rocky Mountains, 170 years ago.
Supported by Frémont’s father-in-law, a powerful senator and strong proponent of western expansion, the expedition’s goal was to survey and map the Oregon Trail to the Rocky Mountains. The senator hoped it would encourage Americans to emigrate and develop commerce along the western trails.
Frémont’s report provided practical information about the geology, botany, and climate of the West that guided future emigrants along the Oregon Trail; it shattered the misconception of the West as the Great American Desert. Frémont dictated much of the report to his wife, Jessie Benton Frémont, a gifted writer. “The horseback life, the sleep in the open air,” she later recalled, “had unfitted Mr. Frémont for the indoor work of writing,” and so she helped him. Distilled from Frémont’s notes and filtered through the artistic sensibilities of his wife, the report is a practical guide, infused with the romance of the western trail.
Keep reading at Eyewitness: America on the Move
The 19th Amendment for Women’s Suffrage on Display March 1 - 8:
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Woman’s Suffrage Parade in Washington, DC, the 19th Amendment will be on display from March 1 to March 8 at the National Archives Building.
The 19th Amendment guarantees American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation. Beginning in the mid-19th century, woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered radical change…