The Co-Ed Goes to War by Katherine Hill (1942)

The Co-Ed Goes to War by Katherine Hill (1942)

From the December 1942 issue of Carolina Magazine:

Carolina MagazineTHE Carolina coed is going to war. Shoved into relative obscurity by the more immediate problem of expanding the Pre-Flight school, temporarily subordinated to the outcome of the 18-19-year-old draft legislation, the question of the coed’s status in Carolina’s war college, her ultimate fate in the university’s new educational system is at last coming into the limelight.

The accelerating tempo of the war has brought an unprecedented challenge to every woman in every college and university in the country, and women students here, as their sister students elsewhere, are demanding answers to their questions, “What is going to happen to us? Will we be allowed to remain at Carolina? Where will we go next year — or next quarter even?”

The actual truth of the matter is — nobody knows.

Rumors as to what the future holds for the coed have flown from Graham Memorial to Woollen gym, back across by the naval area and up through the quadrangle. The most famous of these came from a small campus group which divulged the confidential information that all coeds were to be packed in the proverbial lock, stock and barrel manner and sped to the fair city of Greensboro where they would be allowed to pursue their various studies beneath the quiet and pensive oaks on ye olde Woman’s College campus. Upon receipt of this choice bit of news the irate populace of Alderman, McKeever and Archer House promptly made frantic plans for revolution should execution of such a threat be attempted.

Next rumor on the hit parade, eventually squelched by the inhabitants of Kenan, Spencer and the sorority houses, had it that coeds would be kicked off the campus, bounced out of town, chased beyond the county limits, and there left to shift for themselves, preferably in the direction of an East Carolina tobacco patch or a New England airplane factory.

From the office of the dean of the War College comes the only official word on the subject of coeds and their place in the future of the university. The statement issued by Dean Bradshaw is brief almost to the point of disappearance. “We know nothing definite. Your officials are in constant touch with the proper authorities and as soon as we learn anything at all conclusive we will immediately pass it on to the student body. The main problem facing us at this time is where we can house eight bundled women when the Pre-Flight school takes over their dormitories.” He did not say if the Pre-Flight school takes over the dormitories.

In the meantime, the war goes on. What are the coeds, as an integral part of the student body, going to do?

In the first place, at the end of this quarter there must, of necessity, be a complete reconsideration of the academic program for women. In order to remain as students at Carolina, women will have to adapt their scholastic schedules to meet the demands of the speeded up war program. In place of excessive liberal art courses must come classes in mathematics, sciences, foreign languages, and social services. Training in fields branded as temporarily unnecessary will be slashed to a minimum; concentration will be on the nation’s needs in health fields, in diplomatic services and special investigations, in scientific research, in business and industry and in trained personnel for schools and colleges.

The increasing- urgency for preparing women now for what lies immediately ahead cannot be stressed too emphatically. Dr. Edward C. Elliott, Chief of the Division of Technical and Professional Personnel of the War Manpower Commission, recently stated, “All women college students are under obligation to participate directly either in very necessary community service, in war production or in service with the armed forces.”

By no means does this indicate that sight is being lost of the values of education, especially of the college education; it is held at a premium. There is no retraction of nor lessening of emphasis on the statement that the reservoir of educated leadership must be maintained. For those upon whose shoulders will fall the tremendous responsibility of solving the peace there must be a thorough understanding of the social, economic, political and intellectual forces which characterize this war period.

But before peace comes the war. (more…)

Assault with Attempt to Kill (Civil War Reunion Poem from 1915)

Assault with Attempt to Kill (Civil War Reunion Poem from 1915)

This poem was recited to great applause to crowds in Philadelphia in 1915 at the Forty-Second Annual Reunion of the Army of the Potomac and included in the published Report of Proceedings.

The poem was created on the scene of the reunion by Captain Jack Crawford and was based on the arrest of an old soldier a “day or two” before the meeting. The soldier who was arrested was quoted as saying “I did it, yes I did it, and I’d do it again.”

Assault with Attempt to Kill

Benjamin White,” the Court clerk cried, and “Benjamin White” again,
When a man of apparently sixty came out of the prisoners’ pen.
He leaned on a cane of hickory wood, and walked with a limping gait,
And stood at the bar with determined face, and there awaited his fate.
“Benjamin White,” his Honor cried, as the crowd in the court grew still,
“The charge which 1 see against your name, is assault with intent to kill.
How do you plead? ’Tis a serious charge, with a heavy penalty;
The Court would advise that you ponder well before you enter a plea.”

(more…)
Why Must a Woman’s Name Change with Her Marriage? (1924)

Why Must a Woman’s Name Change with Her Marriage? (1924)

“It Shouldn’t!” Exclaims One Boston Woman, Who Uses Her Husband’s Name Only When She Pleases—But Another Says There Are Good and Sufficient Reasons

“The matter is closed and will not be reopened,” officially replied the Assistant Secretary of the Interior last week when some Washington women protested to him that although they are married they want to keep their unmarried names. Officially it may be settled; women department workers may be obliged to sign their married names in order to get their pay checks; but the larger question of whether a woman should take a new name when she takes a husband will not be settled as long as the little band of Lucy Stoners keep up the agitation for married women with maiden names. They are an advance guard, as determined pioneers as the first suffrage workers.

In today’s Globe, Katharine Morey of Brookline, who is sometimes known as Mrs. Herbert Pinkham, tells why she thinks it absurd to expect a woman to give up the name she has been known by all her single life.

Katharine Morey

Katharine A. Morey

This appeared in The Boston Globe on September 21, 1924.  The portion supporting women keeping their names after marriage was written by Katherine A. Morey (also known, sometimes, at Mrs. Herbert Pinkham). 

Morey: No woman who has seriously decided to keep her own name will be more than mildly interested In the semiofficial news that married women employees of a certain Government department a t Washington must sign their “married names” to the payroll. There is no law In the land compelling a woman to take her husband’s name. and-as far as I have been able to discover there are no legal obstacle’ to retaining the so called maiden name in all circumstances.

That any department at Washington, or any number of departments, actually hoped to impede the movement toward name independence would be strange news. Such tactics would be several years behind the times. The idea is already firmly established and the practice of it is growing every day. I doubt very much if all the conservative talent in Washington could withhold the pay envelope of a woman who, accustomed to use her own name. refused to sign her husband’s name on a payroll. (more…)

A Woman Living Here Has Registered to Vote

This sign from 1920 was designed to be placed in the window of a home so that all who passed would know that the woman within had exercised her right under the 19th amendment and registered to vote. It also served as a reminder to other women to do the same.

I have cleaned it up and made a nicely printable version that will fit on a standard (US) Letter size page.

Download the PDF

Sign, “A Woman Living Here Has Registered to Vote,” ca 1920.

 

 

Heroines in the Farm Front in 1944 (A USDA Radio Script)

Heroines in the Farm Front in 1944 (A USDA Radio Script)

Wednesday, November 22, 1944

Harvest is nearly over now, and cans of fruit, vegetables, and meat are lined up on pantry shelves — and grocery shelves — like soldiers in a regiment. This has been a busy year for farmers, and for farm women, in food production. Just as some women have gone to work in war plants, joined the armed services, and taken over men’s jobs in cities, so others have gone to work on farms to help produce food. Quietly and without fanfare, they have taken their place beside husbands, sons, and brothers in the fields and farm yards; and some have run farms alone.

Today we hear about some women in Farm Security borrower families, who have helped fill our pantry shelves and grocery shelves. They represent thousands of others throughout the country who have worked in similar ways to hasten victory.

First we might mention Mrs. Monnie Strother of Independence County, Arkansas, who was just 34 when her husband died two years ago and left her with 7 small children. Mrs. Strother knew nothing about farming, yet realized that she couldn’t keep her family together unless she made a living for them at home. She talked over things with the two oldest children – 15-year-old Nellie Mae and 13-year-old Robert – and with her FSA county supervisor. Result was that she was able to put her 120-acre place in full production last year and this year. She and the childrt planted, cultivated, and harvested crops, and now they not only feed themselves but sell fresh vegetables, dairy products, poultry, eggs, and pork on the war food market.

Near Farmington, Missouri, Mrs. Roy Berghaus is “head man” of a highly successful 125-acre dairy farm. Her “handy men” and field hands are her four small daughters ranging in age from 3 to 9 years. When Mrs. Berghaus’ husband joined the Navy Seabees in 1942, she took over the farm to keep it operating while he was away. She “bought a lady’s model tractor and other light farming equipment, and was soon handling them like a professional. She now sells milk, cream, and butter and also fat hogs – to add to city folks’ meat supplies.

In Crook County, Wyoming, tiro elderly sisters contribute “beef to the Nation’s meat store by raising purebred cattle on a 700-acre ranch. The women are Mrs. Naomi Dungey, 65-year-old widow, and her sister, Miss Catherine Bennett, aged 60. The sisters were born in England and lived on a farm where their father raised purebred cattle and hogs. Besides beef cattle, the women sell dairy products from 17 head of dairy cows and fatten hogs for market. They did such a fine job of food production this year, in fact, that they were awarded a $100 prize for outstanding agricultural achievement.

Two other sisters – only in their early 20’s – who are receiving praise for farm work this year are Ella and Leona Bryant of Delta County, Michigan. When Mr. Bryant died, and the girls’ two brothers joined the armed services, they took over a 35-acre farm and have been making it produce for market ever since. Although they hire no help, they milk 18 cows a day, feed several dozen hogs, raise poultry, cultivate a large garden, and handle 50 head of livestock for their landlord.

Another “man-less” farm that has turned out tons of food this year is that of Mrs. Dulcinea Curtis in Sandoval County, New Mexico. This year, Mrs. Curtis, mother of two small daughters, used a tractor to grow her own alfalfa, chili, corn, and truck crops. She even pruned and irrigated her own fruit trees and, in addition, hauled much of her produce to market.

While not running a farm alone, a couple of Florida women say they are “leading double lives” these days as they work beside their husbands on the farm. Mrs. John Archibald of Sumter County keeps house, and also works outside branding cattle, “riding the woods” for cows twice a week, feeding fattening hogs, and often marketing livestock. Mrs. Charles Blaha of Hernando County takes her soldier son’s place on their large poultry farm, and also runs a small highway restaurant part time for war workers.

For sheer courage and perseverance, Mrs. Nancy Fields of Mayes County, Oklahoma deserves recognition for accomplishment in the face of difficulty. Mrs. Fields is a widow with 5 children, and has known crop failure, sickness, and death in the past two years. At Christmas in 1942, her husband was killed in an automobile accident. She was left with an invalid daughter confined to a wheel chair, a son about to be drafted, and a farm with a mortgage on it. Fortunately her son was deferred awhile to put in crops. But unfortunately later, floods wiped out the crops and garden and almost destroyed the home. The crops were replanted, only to be ruined by drought. Still, livestock and poultry were left, so Mrs. Fields put several tons of pork, beef, poultry, and dairy products on the market. This year, instead of giving up, she hiked her production goals and planned to raise more livestock and more field crops. And when her eldest son, and a younger boy just turned 13, went to the army this summer she only redoubled her efforts and worked all the harder with the other children at home.

Throughout the country, farm women have helped produce the food we eat, and ship abroad to our armed forces and our Allies. They are doing their part on farms, just as other women are doing their part in the war industry, the military services, and elsewhere.

What Happened to Daisy Bates?

What Happened to Daisy Bates?

School desegregation is a fact in Little Rock and – because of Little Rock – in many other Southern cities, but Daisy Bates, who played a key role in making it all possible, is forgotten by the public.

—Thomas Fuller

(Negro Digest/May 1962) She was the unlikeliest of heroes. There she was, young and comely, as trim and chic as a model in a magazine advertisement. At the most prosaic, it was easy to picture her as a youthful matron, dainty and decorative, waiting in her well-appointed home for the man who adored her to come in from his labors.

When the Little Rock crisis reached fever pitch in the fall of 1957 and people across the world were wondering about the woman called Daisy Bates, writers were turning out reams of copy in an effort to describe her. In her native Arkansas, of course, she was pictured as a fire-breathing, Red-lining witch and called every vile name printable and a few names which, in a truly civilized society, are not printable at all.

But other writers were more objective. Seeking to satisfy the curiosity about the woman who had turned the nation upside down, a United Press correspondent described Daisy Bates as “a businesslike woman of 35” and went on in a kind of awe to list the measurements Of her slim figure. “She wears her black hair in a casual bob, sometimes covering part of her forehead,” he wrote, adding: “Newsmen find little trouble talking to her.”

For readers of the Minneapolis Tribune, the famed Negro journalist Carl T. Rowan was more to the point: “Actually, she is a typical Negro housewife—different from the average American woman, perhaps, primarily in that she prefers poker to bridge and has become expert with a rifle.”

Daisy Bell in front of Central High School in Little Rock
Daisy Bell in front of Central High School in Little Rock

Inherent in Rowan’s description is the suggestion that, had the wanton finger of Fate pointed at many another Negro woman, the results would have been pretty much the same. There is nothing in this suggestion to detract from the extraordinary achievement of Daisy Lee Bates. Rather, there is something in it of commendation for all the millions of Negro women who have borne with uncommon fortitude the burden of their culture’s cruelty and of their men’s helpless despair.

If Daisy Bates is typical of her kind, then she proved a splendid example. Never once in her long and barbarous ordeal was there a public moment of faltering or re- treat. If there had not been private ones, then she would have been more than human, and Daisy Bates is very human indeed.

(more…)