tv Women in the Workforce Military During WWII CSPAN March 30, 2019 11:00pm-12:01am EDT
-- and his balanced budgets were favorably received by the state of pennsylvania. in his concluding times, he was very broadly affectionately regarded justly, i think. >> you are watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. next, lisa keller from the state university of new york illustrateders an talk on women's roles during world war ii. st. paul's church in
mountaineering -- mount vernon, new york posted this event. >> good afternoon, welcome to saint paul's church. thank you so much for coming out here. i am david osborne. in march.e yesterday was international women's day. in that spirit and also reflecting scenes in a new exhibit we opened, called a special role, we are pleased to have here today professor lisa -- ar, unprofessional or professor here to read one of the great cultural organizations of our county. many come out and do good and interesting things. she is the author of many books on american history and she is
going to be talking about women's history month and world war ii bank. their roles, their lives, their expectations. i think she would appreciate giving the talk. anyone with questions, holding them until the and. david.k you, it is delightful to be here. i have spoken here many times. most osborne is one of the energetic and intelligent of all of the site directors in the national park service. many students to him to be interned. i'm glad you turned out for this topic. i teach women in america at suny purchase. i taught the subject. always had the reception women never did anything in world war ii.
they neverlong with did anything in history but take care of houses and children. to which i say, if that were the case, the world economy would have collapsed 8000 years ago. we are going to talk about what women did in the war. this is an enormous topic. walking back and forth to change the slides. it is the result of 50 years of research. i'm going to start out -- i don't know if you heard me playing the rosie the riveter start outam going to with the iconic image of rosie the riveter. iconic but controversial. it came out on the saturday evening post. as you are familiar, it has been copied and copied. washingtonnian in
markets everything from coffee ups to coasters. married oilwas mary doyle keefe posed. $4.9riginal sold for million. why was it controversial? my students don't see anything controversial. then i say, look at this. this is 1943. that causedbout it eyebrows to hit the ceiling? i would say these huge muscles. they were one of them. so, i pardon my saying
don't think mr. rockwell sought ay.t wher head, the devil may care attitude, the homemade sandwich. which i grew up with my entire life. the feeling she had taken control over everything. this is something that is great to start out with. the name rosie the riveter, the song i was playing before and the concept of rosie became the emblem for what women were supposed to have done during the war. that is not a simple picture. thank you very much. the other way. i have a few statements generalizing.
to give you some background and pictures of what id. 1942, the new york times reports the library of pages,s catalog had 76 748 sources of information about women in the war. wow. where did this information come from? historys never been a -- a time in history of the world when women's efforts have attention, soch much documentation, so much praise. this is going to be a little deceptive. swing ofhat i call the the pendulum. following the 1930's, they had been discouraged from entering the workplace, even though women had always been in the workplace.
many sources, if you are interested, and why you had a thing on roby the riveter. -- and why you had a thing on rosie the riveter. the various branches of the military each have different websites which have this material. much of this material is copyright free. please. -- next slide, i want to start by saying, women have always worked. they worked for the industrial revolution. they worked in what is called the domestic economy. au are not taking home of family and children. you are creating the economy that fueled your home. fill farm, the produce. everything contributed to that. side-by-side.
they contributed to every effort to read that is one of the things we need to keep in mind. depression, women had begun to be discouraged. i don't want to give you too i want toraphics, give you some sense of what happens. worked all single women in the paid worked for sprint women, a lower rate. a lot of women work for their families, their husbands, their parents. paidare not considered workforce. that is a difficult figure. 1930 and 1940, 20 5% of all women were in the paid
workforce. that is a lot of women. the entire workforce, if you look at the entire workforce, 21% were women. and --, a quarter warm were women. when people say they came into the workforce in the 30's and 40's, it is a lie. womento a third of all were any paid workforce. interesting characteristic. for african-american women, the figure was much higher. african-american women had to work. very often, these were the most difficult jobs they were involved in. all high school .omen -- this is amazing shift given 100 years before, they are basically
higher education institutions for women. the first academic institution. that is a big shift. shifts. the the education rate. the rise of women in professional getaways. this is from the 1870's and 80's onward. era, youpression hadn't women whose names are virtually legendary. roosevelt,eanor francis perkins. 95% of high school students have francesard the name perkins. she is not included in a lot of books. women journalists, women in the government. there was an enormous pool of
immigrant labor. theing off immigrants to country. you had a big pool of labor. questions. women getting the vote. issues of who was voting. backlash against married women. big issues. married women in the workforce which we will come back to. reality nullified that. if you were married, chances were if you were not in that small group, you had to have some sort of income to augment your family. even peace work at home. just to stay alive. 1930's, marriage rates declined. contraceptive use increased, to, inas partially due
era, the campaign for contraception which took off. planned parenthood was in existence then. eleanor roosevelt is one of the most influential of all the figures. people know about her. my mother used to talk about her. press meetings, the way she established women reporters, giving them access in the white house. there is a little bit of a contradiction. women shouldied step out of the workforce in favor of their husbands. the national economy provisions said only one family member could be an civil service. three quarters of workers were
in fact women. into a kindng them of gray area. eleanor roosevelt did advocate for equal pay for it will work. becamep to the women sort of a bible for women of the time. it is full of homely advice about how to take care of things. it also told women they should prepare for the future and prepare for what they will do and where they will go. next. women power.ise of that sounds like a modern word, the 1940's.n use in be ameant there had to
massive retooling of industry personnel. changing modes of production. expanding to include women in all sectors. and then you have the issue of what were the traditional roles for women? became an issue, how are you are going to change these rules. you is the fax that make open your eyes and realize the degree to which they were involved. 13 million women were working in industry. most people are surprised when they hear that figure. 1942, an additional 5 million women were added on. they did everything. hard labor. , going into shipyards.
doing the home businesses. they were pulled away from pink collar jobs. secretaries and stenographers. to be ar learned stenographer. she did not want to be a stenographer. she was channeled into that. women in the armed forces. judgment by the new york times. it is a women's war in a more literal sense than any war has ever been. thatis the realization they were out of labor except for women. talkedcame an incredible about fact, published fact. , if it isicipation
pervasive enough and the air -- the war is sufficiently prolonged, new standards of self-reliance are going to be set up. that is going to cause a lot of trouble. let's not get there. here is where we have government public relations. said, you have to stay home, give the job to a man. todenly, the message changed , you have to get out there and take the job of a man. you have to be patriotic. fight the enemy within. here is government propaganda.
one slide, you might find somewhat offensive. these were popular posters government put out. .his was a pamphlet this was a booklet put out. we believe the date was 1941 but we cannot find a specific date. by the american institute of public opinion saying women power is a headache because it a dislocation of routine. the pamphlet goes on to say, if we mustto win the war, have this disruption of traditional roles. 40% of women were willing to
in a war plant. when you break that down into single versus mothers, the far less willing to take a job in the plants. next slide. here are two of the most iconic posters. work, theomen at sooner we win. do the job he left behind. these are going to be important messages as we go on. u.s. employment service. here is a woman doing this manual labor. i don't know if you can see, she does wear nail polish. which was important in all of the government propaganda.
up, almost tied always with a red turban. they are polished looking because of this worry about femininity. whether or not putting them in these hard mail stereo typical jobs will somehow decay their feminism. there is a wonderful propaganda film i show my students where they compare filing a metals to filingetal screw nails. next slide. heart beat family appeal. keeping these hands off the family. this is ant of this,
old message from the revolutionary war time. the family would the in jeopardy fighting war. -- by the war. we need to make sure they are intact. the mother holding things together. bonds. world war i has a wonderful history of propaganda for selling war bonds. offices were all over new york. ago.onference two years inhad incredible propaganda new york city in world war i. the next slide is the eye-opener. perils males face with women. wanted for murder. her careless talk costs lives. don't reveal what
you are doing. be very careful. trouble.e a bag of and booby-trap. syphilis and gonorrhea. these are old themes of women and the new aerial disease. venerealaerial -- disease. about written a paper world war i. it is the first war where the government focused on and worried about them with its soldiers. they said if you go to france, you are going to get a social disease because you know what the friends are like. these are part of the posters. you get a sense of the bad woman image that comes out with that. do, women in world
war ii? they are active volunteers in organizations such as the red cross. war bonds. home goods, conserving material. trying to make sure people have enough to wear and to eat. womenr, less well-known, go into all branches of the military except for the air force proper. corollary of the air force. pilot is woman active 1993. was very reluctant to have women become pilots. you want to know why?
the hearings, which i remember listening to, they felt if a the cockpit, her men straight and would interfere with her ability to fly a plane. that was stated during the hearings. ii,eality, in world war 350,000 women did serve in the armed forces. many of them were nurses. many of them did a lot more than that. in addition, we are talking about 18 million women and industry. various kinds of industries. inclusion of women in industries , heavy industries they never would have been in before such as ordinance. my father was an ordinance officer. .e won a bronze star i was always very interested in ordinance. the war department invited women
to be part of the active defense of the u.s. and then started this feminization of what were considered male jobs. a few years earlier, they said you couldn't possibly take these jobs. they are too difficult and masculine. 6 million women went into the paid labor force for the first time. 25% of, they constituted the workforce. the average age rose which is interesting. they also joined unions. women had been discouraged. attempt tonion, include women occurred during in 1909.gle strike
you have probably heard of the fire. the strike was in many ways one of the most defining areas concerning women and work. got 2 million more women. women, mostican interestingly, always cut out, great prejudice against them. they left domestic service jobs to work in the factories. they were very often given the worst jobs. you will find them in ordinance doing the worst jobs. which leads us to the final issue, what happened to the children? who took care of the children? if they are going to work, the u.s. has little in the way of daycare.
what did they do? outact, they had to farm their children. you will find stories about women who sent their children to ,others, aunts, cousins neighbors. they do not have an opportunity to get organized childcare. the u.s. today, the only industrialized nation in the world not to have government-subsidized or legal guidelines for child care. it is left up basically to individuals, corporations. today, as you know, women are 80% -- 80% of women are in the work force. here's an example.
labor a woman in world war ii would engage in. welding upold woman part of a cockpit for the new army airfares -- air force training glider. images, there are hundreds of thousands of images. to pick outcult ones that were most representative but i think it is very good. ae would never get past safety standard today. her hair is occupational safety and hazard -- her hair is out. she is wearing goggles. these were dangerous jobs they were doing. they did get good training but they were still interest. bomber noses being
polished. their hair is tied up. never totally covered. there were many jobs which involved sparks. acts thatm various could have ignited their hair. fire from ar set on sparks or know what it is like. this would never be allowed today. next slide. boeing employees. they are wearing uniforms. this was of course a critical industry at the time. happy.l look very next photo.
ordinance, which i am , thecularly interested in making of ordinance was central. you see different stages of .rdinance manufacturing prior to the war, not a single in anwould have been ordinance factory. it would have been unthinkable. rejected as violating the femininity of a woman. here are freight handlers. it is being used for other purposes. more welding. african-american women welders. meeting of women workers at a factory. but they are see
almost all women in this photo. they are being given their instructions. by the military leaders. you can see, she is wearing welding glasses. their heads are covered. they realized how dangerous the work was. i like this photo a lot. taking a break. there is a wonderful documentary called rosie the riveter about women in industries. there are five they interview. it is hard to get this. i have a copy but it is hard to get. they are taking their lunch break. their thermos and their sandwiches.
everyone looks very happy. says, keep clean. the degree to which this was actually the case, these are idealized for propaganda purposes, but we know this happened all the time. the numbers of women in the military. 350,000. here's a breakdown in every area except the air force. the army corps, 150,000 women. marine corps reserves, 23,000. wass, 1000. 1000.ps, one of the least recognized and portland.
women in the air force air force service pilot. they moved planes. noncombat missions. people tend not to know women to fly planes and the 1940's. they needed to have them moved. there has been in the last 40 of whatrecord mission women did in the armed forces and in particular the wasps. they have been particularly recognized as what they are doing. in this photo, they look very much like male pilots. there wearing bomber jackets.
there was once a time, women did not wear trousers. when i went to elementary and middle school and high school, you were supposed to wear skirts. pants, trousers, genes were discouraged. i have not seen a student in a skirt in a long time. here are the propaganda posters. very nice of the incredibly attractive women with a lot of makeup. the happy, recruited into army exhilarated court. women's place in war. doing office work, very serious.
here she is with a great smile, how she is contributing. the message going out, you have to be part of this war. more propaganda for your country's sake. for your own sake tomorrow. advising you to go to the nearest recruiting station of the armed services of your choice. they are not even channeling them into specific services. go and volunteer to be in the service. men did not have a choice. they had to go. women had to be encouraged to go. firsts harriet west, the black major. stage for other
women of color to go into this. july, 1942. they started training them in des moines's. 125 enlisted women. officer candidates. including 40 black women. by 1943, it had become regular lysed and could be posted overseas. a lot of issues about posting them overseas. the majority of them are not posted overseas. women ordnance workers. wow. there were two plants. i was interested in redstone.
an extraordinary place for women. not very well-known. here is the id badge of a woman working in redstone. they had to be trained in intense ordinance manufacture. 45 point 2 million units of ammo were produced. bulk, as you can see. by 1942, two been women. staff.4% of the work this was very dangerous work. burster charges. caliber,d major ammunition.
the bombs of varying weights and sizes. this is what they are engaged in. manufacturing at huntsville. it paid at 37% women. women weree african-american women which was a record. prejudicetremendous in alabama. i read many of the newspaper stories that came out at the they are notd good. we cannot hire them. very discriminatory statements. and yet, they did get up to 11% of the workforce. are pictures from mostly redstone. women working in varying stages
of different kinds of ordinance manufacture. this picture has a few men. the line is mostly women. have the fact, when men were at the plant, they tended to be the supervisors. there was already a pecking order in terms of gender recording of in these plants. marine corps, navy, and spars. this is interesting. 20,000 women were in the marine corps. that is something very few people know about. they only started in april,
1943. before they went to camp lejeune, they went to hunter college where they had a training center. the officers went to mount holyoke where they train them. the navy had 11,000 nurses. , an acronym,rd 10,000-11,000 women. that was a somewhat surprising fact for most people. they did not think women were in the coast guard or marines. all this time, they did not have equal status to men. only after the war were they granted equality. despite the fact there were
350,000 of them, they were not considered the same as men. it had to be corrected later on. here are women in the navy. that are fromes the navy history website. an air traffic control tower. parrish is drinking. planes.g for being on different circumstances and situations. women as her traffic controllers surprises people. they didn't think women were trained to be air traffic controllers. they did these jobs with no problems. we have very few reports of problems emanating from the fact they were doing these jobs. next.
here is a very different area of involvement. the stage door caffeine. portals pass the most beautiful uniforms in the world. it was to give r&r to soldiers on leave in the various cities where the canteens were opened. for world war ii was revived by a group from the american theatre wing. there was a plaque where it is. by the end of the war, eight cities had these canteens.
they wanted attractive women to , serve sandwiches and nonalcoholic drinks. dance with them. servedion soldiers were by the stage door canteens. broadway was one of the most 2 millionerving servicemen. which is what impressive. next slide. canteens. great hollywood made movies of this. . bought a couple of old movies ginger rogers is in one. shirley temple is in all of them. she is in every single movie. it has to do with the stage door canteen. 18 million women working in factories. hundreds of thousands of them
serving in the war. and then what happens? at the end of the war? we need your job for a man. there is a returning soldier who need your job. goodbye, thank you very much. goes all over the map. african-americans have some of the harshest treatment. many of them going back to domestic service. cut out of the regular workforce. japanese-americans, japanese-american women suffered from internment. the government propaganda and all the experts said women's hearts are in their homes. they need to go back and take care of their children. postaybe they said in the 1945 years, maybe we will start
nurseries in places where women can bring their children if they want to work. maybe they have learned new skills. maybe they have new discipline, as if women didn't have supplanted. industrial life has taught them what real work is. all, maybe line of they have learned to do the double load of home and job successfully. women have always worked double jobs. they are removed from this, but as i like to argue, once you , it ispen a locked door going to keep opening. that is what eventually happened. women came back in the workforce. there is a campaign after the
war to get women to stay in built,when levittown was they put the kitchens in the front of the house. likely your kitchen is in the back of the house. they were in the front so the women could look on the street and watch their children playing. this great shifting but it did not last long. the 1960's, that he was coming out and saying something is not right. there is an air of discontent and happiness women share. this the feminine mystique. that started the next revolution that moved women to a different point.
much here, but at least we had a few points to talk about. this opens you to further reading about women in world war ii. thank you. [applause] we have time for some questions if you have any questions? no questions. clark's partially a comment. thank you. your observations about when women could wear pants, this came home to me in 1970 when i had a teaching job in new haven connecticut. the pants outfit and i was taken down to the principal's office as a young teacher and told, don't do that.
>> thank you. i should introduce her. heading up of the revolutionary war celebration. if you are not on her mailing list, get on it. you want to find out about everything that happened in westchester, which was a complicated ground in the revolutionary war, people going in different directions. cut between patriots and loyalists. any other questions? >> the photo of the stage door canteen. were they integrated? yes, it was integrated. i must also say, that is new york. i don't know about others. , as editor of the
encyclopedia of new york city, i would say new york is an exceptional city. we don't necessarily match what happens in other cities. during the war, this was the case. weretage door canteens notorious for overnight romances. on the town,een anything can happen and that is the secret that will stay in the city. those are the secrets we will not reveal. any other questions? before or after? clocks the strike was 1909. went onworkers who picket lines before the time.
set the stage for the fact unions were hostile to women. circles, in immigrant women should not take the jobs of men. what happens in world war ii is not so different from the century that happened before world war ii. irony.add one the industrial revolution, all and americaof jobs industrialize is between 1820 and 1840. lowell, massachusetts. those jobs went to women. women were the first industrial workers. they could be paid less than anyone else. the cheapest wages, the lowest wages, went to women.
it was in their interest to employ women. we come full circle to world war ii where women are pressed into service. because of new legislation, had to be paid on a higher rate. when they interviewed many of say, i lovehe women this job. when a man got paid. four times what i would have gotten paid as a clerk at a will worse. likedttom line was, they the money. they wanted to be paid the same as men. thatis one of the issues is just about being resolved. upwage parity, today we are cents for every woman
worker to every man worker. we are getting there. you can't undo thousands of years of history overnight. >> i was wondering about spies. , there are a lot of novels. are there spies, women spies or mail spies? >> when you saw that, the motto hari types, there was a fear attractive women were here to be -- it is down -- here we go. there was always this fear attractive -- this has to do with sexual disease. wouldrger issue was women get information from men and might seduce men. did it happen? possibly.
frankly, these scandals go on today. in the 1960's, the british government was pulled down by a series of scandals regarding women. as i recall couple years ago, we had one with a russian woman who was said to have done that. it is good fodder for historical novelists. >> [indiscernible] >> ok. it is good to see you. i think i had given a talk on eleanor roosevelt a couple of years ago. that is an enormous topic. she had this group of women journalists. critical.n were
major sources. she brought them into the white house. separate have conferences in her red room. she started this tradition of the separate group of women. by the way, one of the things i because i hade done this other talk, in terms of women in war. is a woman wholt goes into the war. she goes to europe. ,he is a very active person
being in the front line. i think they got nervous. she really was involved in all this stuff. the red room became a symbol of the integration of women into kind of the white house circle. frances perkins is important because of her cap position. when they had the gridiron dinner, she was not allowed to attend. there is a famous woman philosopher. one of the most eminent writers and philosophers. when she had to go to a lecture in harvard, she had to enter through the back door.
toy of the things we tend take for granted have only changed recently. i once complained i was club president. they scheduled an event at a certain club. i said, i am not going there. why? accept women or jews for a long time. i do not think you should hold an event in a place like that. we have a lot of women in the military, but we forget only after the war were they given recognition is full soldiers. that is fairly late in the order of things. we have women in the military. mix l.a., she is a lieutenant
colonel? as a lieutenant colonel. last week, has come out with her revelations of what her life was like. at a military base for a couple of years in europe. many people told me they would never go public with some of the things that had gone on because they were afraid of retaliation. at least we know we have this rich history. they knew how to fly a plane. when i go on any commercial peek in theke a cockpit. at least a quarter of the time, i have a woman as a pilot or copilot. which is really nice. two more questions.
if you are interested in any of this, there are so many websites to look at. women in the army, women in the navy. story, women in this ordinance factory, they have one of the best websites i have ever seen. you can learn a great deal about what women did. grateful you all came. i ask you to tell people about these stories so they know this. they don't think this is something unusual. it only happened the other day. there is a long history of women working double jobs.
when two pete -- parents were working, when the kid gets sick, it is usually the mother called to pick up the kid. resolve the issues from 1945. where will they go? who will take care of the children? >> one quick question. woman to be buried was during the revolutionary war. >> i just taught this two weeks ago. margaret corbin. named the driveway. thiss not in these -- presentation. i presented it to my students who were shocked to hear -- she
had to dress like a man. she had severe wounds. marking of all these achievements. the fact that they buried her in west point was significant. 1946.oved her body in they were not very friendly to women at west point. it was at that point, the only one for a longtime. i used to go down to west point when we were student radicals. those good old days. again.ou i really enjoyed it. [applause]
you are watching american history tv. 48 hours of programming every weekend. follow us on twitter for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest news. >> next on lectures in history, college professor edward white teaches a class on lessons learned from the vietnam war and how films and documentaries have portrayed the conflict. his class is about one hour. prof. white: today is the last class in our eight part course called vietnam war, history, movies, and music.