American Working Women in World War II A Brief History with Documents

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Pub. Date: 2019-10-25
Publisher(s): Bedford/St. Martin's
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Summary

American Working Women in World War II introduces students to American women’s experiences in defense work during World War II, focusing on the challenges they faced in male-dominated factories and the military, as well as their struggle to juggle work with expectations at home. An introductory essay and a rich array of primary sources—including firsthand accounts of women from diverse backgrounds, cartoons, photographs, and magazine articles—arranged in thematic chapters provides a lens through which to examine the history of women, gender, sexuality, labor, race, and ethnicity during this period, as well as the ways in which women’s participation in the war effort may have contributed toward the civil rights movement of the 1950s and the feminist movement of the 1960s. Document headnotes, a chronology, questions for consideration, and a selected bibliography further enrich this work. Available in print and e-book formats.

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
 
PART ONE. Introduction: The Women behind the Men behind the Gun: Working Women in World War II
Working Women in the Early Twentieth Century
Rosie the Riveter and the Propaganda Campaign
The Women War Workers of World War II
Rosie and Her Sisters: Defense Industry Jobs
Fighting Race Discrimination
Fighting Sex Discrimination: Union Women and the U.S.Wome’s Bureau
Challenges for Working Women: Factory Life and the Second Shift
Women in the Armed Services
The End of the War and Beyond
 
PART TWO. The Documents
1.  Propaganda: The Campaign to Recruit Womanpower

1. Office of War Information, Women in the War . . . for the Final Push to Victory, 1943
2.  LIFE Magazine, Cover Featuring a Woman Steel Worker, August 9, 1943
3.  Phyllis Duganne, When the Boys Come Home, July 17, 1943
4.  Woodbury Facial Soap Advertisement Depicting Femininity and Romance for a Boeing Plant Worker, 1943
5. Norge Household Appliances Advertisement “Working for Today....Planning for Tomorrow,” 1944
6. Exhibitor’s Sales Guide for the Film Women At Arms, 1942
7. Anna M. Rosenberg, Womanpower and the War, April 1943
 
2. The Words and Worlds of Women Defense Workers
8.  Matilda Foster, Oral History Account of Shipyard Work, 2005
9.  Marian Sousa, Oral History Account of Work at the Kaiser Shipyards, 2002
10.  Maggie Gee, Oral History Account of Work at Shipyards and of Being a WASP, 2003
11. Margarita Salazar McSweyn, Oral History Account of Work at a Lockheed Plant, 1980
12. Faith Traversie, Oral History Account of Shipyard Work, 2005
13. Polly Crow, A Defense Workers’ Letters to Her Husband, June 12, 1944 and January 30, 1945
14. Long Beach Airview News, Mother of Seven Builds B-17s; Has Super Attendance Mark, July 13, 1943
15.  Photograph of Aircraft Workers, January 1945
16.  Mrs. T.H. Wood, Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt about Racial Discrimination in the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant, July 31, 1942
17. Laura Washington Cyrus, Affidavit Regarding Racial Discrimination, June 5, 1942
         
3. Union Women
18.  United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, Minutes of the “Women to Win the War Conference,” December 13, 1942
19.  Proceedings of the Seventh Convention of the United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, 1942
20. Proceedings of the Eighth International Convention of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, 1942
21. Augusta Chronicle, Rosie the Riveter Wants Man’s Pay, Lady’s Respect, December 11, 1944
22.  Ammunition, Cover: Women Work / Women Vote, August 1944
23.  Ammunition, And We Say, August 1944
24.  Ammunition, You Have Only One Life to Live, August 1944
25.  Ammunition, What Do You Care about Children? August 1944
26. Report of the UAW-CIO’s Women’s Conference, December 1944
27. Lillian Hatcher, Oral History Account of a UAW Activist, 1978-1979
 
4. The Second Shift
28.  Nell Giles, Gas Ration Vital to Factory Worker, 1942
29.  Heinz Ketchup Ad Promising Help with Rationing, 1942
30. Jane Lynott Carroll, Raising a Baby on Shifts, October 1943
31.  Marye Stumph, Oral History Account of an Aviation Worker’s Solution to Childcare, 1982
32.  Raymond Clapper, Home Chores Bothering War Workers, September 30, 1943
33. Jane Eads, Drafting of Fathers Spurs Federal Child Care Program, October 17, 1943
34. Survey Midmonthly, Kaiser’s Children, December 1944
 
5. Women in Uniform
35.  Saturday Evening Post, Women of Two Wars, May 29, 1943
36. Vic Herman, “Winnie the WAC” Cartoon, 1945
37. Charity Adams Earley, One Woman’s Army: A Black Officer Remembers the WAC, 1989
38. Baltimore Afro-American, Four WACs Sentenced to Hard Labor after Devens Strike, March 24, 1945
39. Concepción Escobedo, Oral History Account of a Hispanic WAC, 2003
40. San Antonio Express, Fighting Man’s Widow Joins Juarez Squadron, March 17, 1944
41. Heart Mountain Sentinel, Detachment of Nisei WACs Assigned to Duty at Snelling, November 25, 1944
42. Shamokin News-Dispatch, Report about WAACs Spiked by Col. Hobby: Refutes Story that Contraceptives Will Be Issued to Auxiliary Members, June 9, 1943
43.  Report of Investigation of WAC Lieutenant for Homosexuality, July 1944
44. Elizabeth R. Pollock, Letters from a WAAC Private to Her Family, 1943
45.  Miriam E. Stehlik Drahos, Letter Describing Service in North Africa, 1943
46.  Anna K. Schelper, Letter Describing Nursing in the Philippines, March 8, 1945
47. Allaire Bennett, Memories of Work as a WASP, ca.1990s
 
6. The End of the War and Beyond

48. Catherine Hambley, Asserts Women Be Given Chance in Postwar Era, March 15, 1945
49. Marjorie McKenzie, Pursuit of Democracy, September 8, 1945
50. Barbara Woollcott, We Want Our Jobs, March 4, 1945
51. Bernice Morgan, Women War Workers Shun Domesticity, August 19, 1945
52. Seattle Daily Times, Most Women Workers Plan to Give Up Jobs after War, December 25, 1944
53. Elizabeth Janeway, Meet a Demobilized Housewife, November 1945
54.  Beatrice Berg, When GI Girls Return, April 22, 1945
55. Willard Waller, The Coming War on Women, February 18, 1945
56. New York Times, UAW Women Workers’ Protest of Layoffs at Ford Motor Company, November 9, 1945
57. Dorothy Haener, Oral History Account on Becoming a Union Activist and Feminist, 1978
58. Betty Friedan, UE Fights for Women Workers, June 1952
 
APPENDIXES
A Chronology of American Working Women and the World War II Era (1890–1950)
Questions for Consideration
Selected Bibliography

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