Women in WWII | Pacific Paratrooper

In honor of Women’s History Month this week’s posts will be a dedication to them…..

As WWII unfolded around the globe, women were also affected. Some found themselves pressed into jobs and duties they would never have previously considered. Hitler derided Americans as degenerate for putting the women to work, but nearly 350,000 American females alone served in uniform voluntarily. A transformation of half the population, never seen before, that began evolving in the early ‘40s and continues today.

For the WASPs, 1,830 female pilots volunteered for Avenger Field outside Sweetwater, Texas alone and it was the only co-ed air base in the U.S. These women would ferry aircraft coming off the assembly lines from the factories to the base. They acted as test pilots; assessing the performance of the planes. The WASPs were flight instructors and would shuttle officers around to the posts where they were needed. For artillery practice, they would…

Source: Women in WWII | Pacific Paratrooper

The Tale of the Forty Thieves: Alice Diamond and the All-Girl Gang that Terrorized London

In the 1920s, an organized crime ring of female bandits, extortionists, and blackmailers, terrorized London’s West End. The Forty Elephants was affiliated with the male Elephant and Castle Gang, and had existed from about 1865 as a shoplifting outfit.

The Forty Elephants (also known as the Forty Thieves) specialized in robbery, blackmail, shoplifting, and break-ins. The gang’s blackmailing outfit frequented West End hotels and night clubs searching for aristocrats to blackmail. But shoplifting was the gang’s bread and butter.

They made headlines in the tabloids. One newspaper described the Forty Elephants as “amazons.” Others declared that thirty of the Forty Elephants were “big handsome women about six feet tall” of “giant physique” while the others – scouts and lookouts – were…

Source:  The Tale of the Forty Thieves: Alice Diamond and the All-Girl Gang that Terrorized London

A ‘Hotbed of Immorality’? World War One and Sexual Panic

Workhouse Tales

War generates change (both perceived and real) in sexual conduct, and at the beginning of the First World War, young women were accused of being carried away by ‘Khaki Fever’ which in turn drove campaigns to curb the behaviour of young, mainly working-class, women. Similarly, fears that soldiers and sailors would be in danger of contracting venereal diseases from an increased number of women working as prostitutes resulted in draconian military legislation on the female population. Curfews were enforced, anti-immorality associations were formed, and female police officers were introduced.

In Swansea, a Women’s Citizen Union with a membership of 120 was formed at a conference for the promotion of public morals which was convened by women’s groups and led by well-known philanthropists Lady Lyons and Lady Llewelyn. Public morality had always been of concern to many women’s groups in Swansea, Lady Llewelyn had instigated and chaired a Ladies’ Workhouse Visiting…

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On this day: the Night of the Murdered Poets in Russia

In Times Gone By...

Flag of the Russian SFSR (1937-1954)

The flag of Russia in 1952

On the 12th of August, 1952, thirteen Jews from across the Soviet Union, including Ukraine, Latvia and Lithuania were executed in Moscow on orders from the Russian government. All were falsely accused of espionage and treason, and their executions came after three years of imprisonment and torture.

Five of the murdered were Yiddish poets, hence the name of the infamous day.

Lina Stern Latvian Jew Persecuted by Russia and Stalin in the 1950s Women's History USSR Moscow

Lina Stern

A fourteenth person died in prison five months later, and a fifteenth, a Latvian scientist by the name of Lina Stern, was the only survivor. She spent time in a labour camp until Stalin’s death, but was officially declared “less guilty” so that the USSR could continue to make use of her medical research.

Neither the trials nor the executions were ever mentioned in the Russian media, however the families of the accused were exiled by Stalin. They did not learn the…

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10 Historical Inventions That Were Patented by Women

Originally posted on crestleaf.com.

When you think about great inventors, you likely think of men such as Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and even Bill Gates. Though these men and others innovated new products that changed our modern lives for the better, they often overshadow brilliant women inventors whose incredible contributions should also be acknowledged and praised.

[…] we decided to showcase some amazing things you might not know were invented by women and we use in our daily lives.

1. Liquid Paper – Bette Nesmith Graham

In the 1950s, Bette Nesmith Graham was an executive secretary at Texas Bank and Trust. Electric typewriters had just hit the scene, but their carbon ribbon used to correct typing errors didn’t work very well. Because of this, secretaries had to retype documents even if just a small mistake was made. But Bette was very bright and used white tempera paint to disguise the errors in her typing. She perfected the formula in…

via 10 Historical Inventions That Were Patented by Women.

Foreshades of Grey (11)

Pippa Rathborne's SCRATCH POST

 or, Behind the Rococo Clock Face

detaildetail of Boucher’s 1756 portrait of Madame de Pompadour

Among the learned books in Madame de Pompadour’s library, there was a unique volume about the rivers of France which had been written, and some of it printed, many years before by a diligent and inquisitive eight year old boy, based on his lessons in geography and typography.

Louis XV’s Cours des principaux fleuves et rivières de l’Europe (Courses of the Principal Rivers and Streams of Europe), written in 1718, which the adult man gave to his mistress as a token of the conscientious king that the playboy of Versailles had once wanted to be, survives in the Bibliothèque nationale.

The little print shop, which was built for Louis XV in the Tuileries nearly sixty-five years before Marie Antoinette’s fantasy-farm was installed at Le Petit Trianon, had a serious educative purpose to instill…

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The Forgotten Feminist: Mary Wollstonecraft

Experiencing History

“Well behaved women rarely make history”, or so the saying goes. However, sometimes a woman can be so badly behaved that she can be written out of history. Mary Wollstonecraft is a prime example of this. Author of the ‘Vindication of the Rights of Woman’ in 1792 she was one of the first radical writers on women’s rights yet she is often forgotten in the mainstream telling of the women’s liberation movement.

Wollstonecraft was a proponent of the education of women, she believed that women were the weaker sex because men forced them to be that way through their lack of education. She argued that men did not consider women as humans and were more concerned with creating ‘alluring mistresses’ out of them than rational and reasonable thinkers. Wollstonecraft saw women’s subordination as a social problem, education was necessary but it was not enough, the values of society needed to…

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