History/Heritage News

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House Passes Bill to Allow Female Pilots’ Ashes at Arlington

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 | Category: History/Heritage - National

In a 385-0 vote, the House passed legislation proposed by Congresswoman Martha McSally to allow female World War II Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) to continue placing their ashes at Arlington National Cemetery. During the war, the women served as civilians, but since 1977 they were granted veteran status and in 2002, Army policy allowed their ashes to be placed at Arlington with military honors. In 2015, the Army ruled that the WASPs never should have been allowed to be inurned at Arlington National Cemetery and revoked their eligibility. This bill reverses the Army's decision. Congresswoman Martha McSally is a retired Air Force fighter pilot.

First Lady Asks Women Veterans to Share Their Stories

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 | Category: History/Heritage - National

During a Women’s History Month event at the Capitol, Mrs. Obama encouraged women with military service to tell their stories. Brigadier General Wilma Vaught was honored at the event during which she recounted some her experiences. While women have overcome many challenges, the future holds many more as women enter all combat occupations. General Vaught reinforced that many women veterans still do not self-identify as veterans and are missing out on many services and benefits they've earned.

This Is How March Became Women’s History Month

Monday, February 29, 2016 | Category: History/Heritage - National

Time offers a brief history of the origin of "Women's History Month," noting that many of the rights women now have came "surprisingly recently." Over time and gradual developments like the first "Woman's Day" on February 28 1909, it was President Jimmy Carter who proclaimed the first national Women’s History Week for March 2-8, 1980.

'I'm A Female And I'm A Veteran ... Those 2 Things Are Not Mutually Exclusive'

Saturday, February 27, 2016 | Category: History/Heritage - National

Two women share their experiences and how the policies and laws have changed since they entered the military in 1973 and around 1993. Their service, along with millions of other women, will soon culminate a historic first for female service members when the military opens all front-line combat roles to women across all branches in April 2016.

Museum Program Highlights Native American Women Vets

Friday, February 26, 2016 | Category: History/Heritage - Nebraska

In conjunction with the Sarpy County Museum annual theme of Native American history, there will be a presentation on Sunday, February 28, 2016 about Native American women who served during World War II and how their tribal identities influenced their military experience and community service. Although limited information about their lives and military experiences is available, it is estimated that 800 enlisted during WWII.

Female Veterans Wanted for Southern Illinois University Project

Friday, February 12, 2016 | Category: History/Heritage - Illinois

Southern Illinois University Carbondale students wish to interview female military veterans to take part in a new service-learning history project. All recorded interview and transcripts will be added to the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation archives. They would like to conduct face-to-face interviews, but will do phone interviews. To learn more about the project or to sign up, contact Bobbi Knapp at bknapp@siu.edu or call 618-453-3324.

Senators Let Female WWII Pilots into Arlington Cemetery

Thursday, February 11, 2016 | Category: History/Heritage - National

About half of U.S. senators called upon Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy to reverse a policy change barring the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs), World War II pilots, from having their ashes inurned at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Surprising Fear That Created the USO

Thursday, February 4, 2016 | Category: History/Heritage - National

On February 4th 75 years ago the United Service Organizations (USO) became a Congressionally-chartered corporation when six civilian organizations joined forces on behalf of the U.S. military. In 1941, over 1.1 million people enlisted during the first-ever peacetime draft in preparation for WWII. Communities near military bases were concerned about what the men would do while waiting to deploy. Additionally, there was a military medical officer's fear that enlisted men were "susceptible to the warm comforts of loose women who would ply them with alcohol and seduce them into bad habits and diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea." The USOs "made sure its centers were squeaky clean." Many performers died during their volunteer USO service. Today, there are over 160 volunteer-staffed USOs and it has its own Congressional caucus.

Female Pilots of World War II Deserve Same Honors as Men

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 | Category: History/Heritage - National

More than 12 million Americans (11 percent of the population) were in the United States military in 1945. Some were women who served stateside and overseas. Some were pilots. In 1977, women veterans were granted veteran status with the same status and benefits as their male colleagues. Forty years later, the Army decided that the "women pilots’ status as veterans doesn’t entitle them to burial spots in Arlington National Cemetery." These Walla Walla, Washington editors believe it is wrong and disgraceful.

Nation's Oldest Female Veteran Dies at Age 108

Thursday, January 28, 2016 | Category: History/Heritage - National

On January 27, 2016, Alyce Dixon, died at 108 years old. She was the nation's oldest female veteran who was one of the first African-American women to serve overseas in the U.S. Army. Ms. Dixon joined the Army in 1943, serving in Scotland, England, and France in the only African-American women's unit--the U.S. Army's 6888th Postal Battalion--during World War II. On September 21, 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs named her "Veteran of the Day."

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