SEPTEMBER 28 = Hitler’s Life Spared by Brit Soldier?

Out of the time-shrouded mists of a long ago war, one nearly forgotten by today’s generation comes a story which may or may not be true… it could be a kind of urban legend from history. Indeed the records to confirm it are pretty few. And mostly it relies on memory.  Nevertheless, it may be that on today’s date, September 28, in 1918 a British soldier might have had his gun on a German soldier, and let him go. And the soldiers name might have been Corporal Adolf Hitler!


What EXACTLY is Supposed to Have Happened?

Henry Tandy (above), a private in the British in the British army who came from Warwickshire, had served with great distinction and bravery all over the Western Front during World War One. He had fought at Ypres, and the Somme just to name two of the major battles in which Pvt. Tandy took part. He became the single most decorated Private in the British Army during W.W. I. In fact he went on to win the Victoria Cross… England’s highest military award. And this he earned

for “conspicuous bravery” displayed during the period from July to October 1918, when serving with the 5th Duke of Wellington Regiment.  At that time he took part in the successful British capture of the French village of Marcoing. During the later portion of the battle, when the Germans were in retreat, Tandy later reported that a weary German soldier came into Tandey’s gun sights. The German (above, Hitler, circa W.W. I) was wounded and did not even try raise his own rifle. Tandey chose not to shoot. “I took aim but couldn’t shoot a wounded man,” Tandey recalled, “so I let him go.” The German soldier saw him lowering his weapon and nodded his thanks before disappearing.

How Did it Become Known That This Might Have Been Hitler?

Ok. So a Brit soldier lets a German go in the midst of  a battle. How did it become known that this might have been Hitler? Well there are no sources to place Hitler’s whereabouts on that day, but an interesting link later developed. A newspaper article was published about Tandy’s being awarded the Victoria Cross in Oct., 1918.  Hitler saw this article, and recognizing the picture of Tandy as being the man who had spared him clipped the article and kept it. In 1923 an artist named Fortunino Matania did a painting of Tandy saving comrades at the Battle of Ypres in 1914. In 1937, when Hitler was der Fuehrer and in charge of Germany he was made aware of Mantania’s  painting and upon seeing a copy of the painting recognized the man in the painting as having been Tandy, from the newspaper article he had clipped and kept from 1918. Hitler ordered a copy of the painting and had it displayed at his alpine retreat, the Berghof,  A year later British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain came to the Berghof to make the infamous Munich Agreement (which he said would bring “peace in our time” but did nothing of the sort). Chamberlain saw the Mantania portrait and inquired about it. Hitler replied:

“That man came so near to killing me that I thought I should never see Germany again; Providence saved me from such devilishly accurate fire as those English boys were aiming at us.”

Hitler then asked Chamberlain to give his regards to Tandy so the story goes, and Chamberlain said he would. Whether or not he did so is unclear; accounts exist of a phone call that was answered by Tandy’s nephew William. But it has been reported that the Tandy residence did not have a phone. And there is no reference to Tandy among Chamberlain’s papers about the 1938 meeting.  Still Chamberlain must have told someone because the story got out in 1940 and has been talked about ever since.  Is it true? We may never know for sure. But it is certainly odd that of all people, Hitler should have mounted an image (below) depicting Allied heroism in his home. He must have recognized something…..

Sources =

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/british-soldier-allegedly-spares-the-life-of-an-injured-adolf-hitler

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/henry-tandey-vc-man-who-3009915


http://www.worldwar1.com/heritage/hitler2.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Tandey

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SEPTEMBER 20 = Arthur Becomes Third POTUS in One Year

Our political system may seem VERY odd… especially this year with all off the unprecedented things going on with Donald Trump as President of the United States (POTUS). That statement is intended neither as a criticism nor an endorsement of Mr. Trump.  But it has been an odd year. Well things were even stranger back in 1881. Because it was on this date, September 20, 1881 that Chester Alan Arthur (above) a man who was hardly well known was inaugurated as POTUS. And he was the THIRD man to hold the office in that year.

Hayes to Garfield

The year 1881 began with Rutherford B. Hayes finishing his term.  Hayes had been elected under some very shady circumstances; it had come down to a tie back on election night in 1876 and several states were in dispute. Eventually the election was awarded to Hayes, who was thereafter called Rutherfraud B. Hayes in many quarters by bitter Democrats who felt that the election had been stolen from them.  Be that as it may, in an election that pitted the Ohio Republican James A. Garfield, a former Union General against another former Union general, Winfield Scott Hancock, Garfield managed to squeeze by Hancock by a mere 10,000 votes out of the nine million cast. Garfield had chosen as his running mate one Chester Alan Arthur a man who had held the lucrative and politically powerful post of Collector  of  the New York Customs House, which was where most of the nation’s trade profits were collected. Mr. Arthur had been known as a man who did the bidding of the political bosses.  Thus he was a man with a checkered reputation to say the least.  Senator Roscoe Conklin, the Republican Party Boss had gotten Arthur on the ticket to do his bidding.

And Then Garfield’s Gone…

Nevertheless, he was sworn in along with James Garfield on March 4, 1881 as President and Vice President respectively.  Garfield began with his own set of priorities including making the American dream available to people who had come up through struggle and hard work as he had done –including black citizens.  He also intended to deal with Civil Service reform, and among other things, putting the Republican Party Boss Roscoe Conklin in his place. But there was another man, one Charles J. Guiteau, who considered himself an important part of  the victory was in fact nothing of the sort. He had written a speech supporting Garfield for president, and got it printed by the Republican National Committee but could find no important platform from which to deliver it. And when he did find a chance to deliver it, he couldn’t finish it because he was so nervous. But

still Guiteau thought that he deserved some important position as a result of his “part” in Garfield’s victory. In fact, he felt that he should be made the U.S. Consul in Paris.  Never mind that he spoke nary a word of French, nor any other  language than English. Garfield like any POTUS had tons of mediocre men wanting federal appointments and he met with Guiteau.  But seeing Guiteau as just another office seeker (which he was), he turned him down. Guiteau was furious and mentally unbalanced. So he got a gun and on July 2, shot President Garfield at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, D.C. (above). Guiteau tried to leave the station, but was apprehended a few minutes later.

Garfield Dies Slowly, and Then It’s Arthur

Garfield’s death proved to  be a slow and painful one. This was mainly because the doctors did not  know how to treat the  wound. One bullet grazed his arm, but the  other hit him in the back, shattering a rib and was lodged in his abdomen.  But the doctors just didn’t know how to get at the bullet. Further his physician, Dr. Willard Bliss (below) did

not believe in what was then the new idea of germs, so he would not clean the wound. And the wound was slowly becoming more infected and poisoning the President’s blood. Although he seemed to rally a couple of times over the more than two and a half months of his confinement to a hospital bed, he never left that bed. He had spent all of his time since being wounded at the White House, but during his last few days he asked taken to Franklyn Cottage his little home on the new Jersey coast of the Atlantic ocean just to get away from Washington. His trip there in a special train was observed by shocked citizens who stood in reverent silence, throwing hay on the tracks to lighten any bumps. And it was there that he died on today’s date in 1881.

Thus Arthur became the third president to take office in 1881. At the start of his administration, Arthur had a tough time with his past as an old party hack from the New York Republican machine. But this Arthur was a different man than the old party hack he had once been. He actually summoned up the courage to face Boss Conklin down and pushed him aside. He wound up doing a good job in civil service reform. He sponsored and enforced the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act. Guiteau was found guilty of  Garfield’s murder and was executed on June 3, 1882.

Actually, this came forty years after a previous year of three Presidents.  In 1841, Martin Van Buren’s term came to an end in March, and he was succeeded by William Henry Harrison. President Harrison

developed pneumonia, and died after a mere month in office (the shortest presidential term in history), and his Vice President, John Tyler became the third POTUS in that year.



Sources:

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/chester-arthur-becomes-third-president-to-serve-in-one-year

“Presidential Campaigns” by Paul F. Boller Jr., Oxford University Press, New York, 1984.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutherford_B._Hayes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_A._Garfield

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chester_A._Arthur

 

JULY 27 = Korean War Armistice is Signed

The Korean War came to a complete if inconclusive end on today’s date, July 27 in 1953. The preamble to the treaty itself (the signing is pictured  above) makes that clear enough for all to see:

“The undersigned, the (all the belligerent states), in the interest of stopping the Korean conflict, with its great toil of suffering and bloodshed on both sides, and with the objective of establishing an armistice which will insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved, do individually, collectively, and mutually agree to accept and to be bound and governed by the conditions and terms of armistice set forth in the following articles and paragraphs…”

And that was it.  No formal surrender as the Germans had done at Reims in 1945, and no grand ceremony of complete surrender as the Japanese had delivered on the Battleship Missouri in Tokyo harbor, also in 1945. It was for the “… stopping the Korean conflict, with its great toil of suffering and bloodshed on both sides….” and that was it. The two sides had spent over three years beating each others brains out, and they both had had enough.

The Korean War and It’s Course

The Korean War had begun on June 25, 1950 when the Army of Communist North Korea suddenly and without provocation invaded the territory of Non-Communist South Korea in great numbers. This was a complete surprise to the western powers which supported a fee and independent government on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula.  Soon it became clear that the South Korean Army would not be capable of defending their territory without assistance from it’s western allies. In his thoughts about whether or not to intervene, U.S. President Harry Truman thought back the policy of appeasement which had ultimately lead to World War II: “If this was allowed to go unchallenged, it would mean a third world war, just as smaller incidents had brought on the second world war.” After debating the matter, the United Nations Security Council, June 27, 1950, published Resolution 83 which recommended member state military assistance to the Republic of Korea. This lead to armed forces from well over a dozen United Nations member states other than the U.S. and the Republic of Korea (ROK)  into combat operations against the communist forces which were supported militarily by the U.S.S.R.

The Fighting goes Up and Down Korea Until a Stalemate is Reached

The North Koreans smashed a path all the way to a small parcel of land known as the Pusan Perimeter. There the U.S./R.O.K. hung on by their fingernails until September 1950, when a surprise landing by the U.S. Marines under the command of General Douglas MacArthur far in the

rear of the North Korean lines broke the back of their offensive and forced them to withdraw deep into their won territory, all the way to the Chinese boarder.Then the Chinese attacked with over 30 Divisions in November and December of 1951, thus forcing the U.N. (United Nations) forces back to nearly the 39 parallel wherein the war began in the first place, Eventually Truman fired MacArthur on April 11, 1951, for insubordination over the war’s direction. The fighting and bloodshed went on until Dwyght Eisenhower took over as President.

Ike Goes to Korea, Changes Course…Slightly

All throughout the 1952 Presidential Campaign General Eisenhower (below, middle) had pledged that if elected he would go to Korea to see the

stalemate for himself. Thus when he became President in January of 1953 and saw that stalemate in person, he decided a new approach was needed.  He began allowing Nationalist Chinese forces from Taiwan to launch harassing air raids for their territory. He began leaning on the South Koreans to scale back on some of their demands.  And most importantly he began to publically hint that he might use the American nuclear advantage to break the stalemate in Korea. Whether or not Ike’s hint that he might nuke the north were serious (that would likely set off World War III) the new approach helped. By July 1954 the two sides had hammered out their differences and had an ARMISTICE treaty ready to go.  And this was signed by the belligerents at the village of Panmunjom.

ARMISTICE NOT a Peace Treaty

This is why I made such a point referring the end of the Korean War as being complete, but inconclusive. The combat has long since stopped, and we can all be thankful for that. But an “Armistice” refers just to a cessation of hostilities, not a formal state of peace brought about by thee surrender of one side to the other..  And an armistice is all we have with North Korea.  And whatever one can say about communism -vs- capitalism, one has only to look at the bright vibrant economy of the South Korea -vs- the misery, slavery, and “let’s threaten the world with nukes” attitude of the “Dear Leader” in charge of North Korea, to have a clear answer about whether the Korean War was worth he trouble. It CERTAINLY was!

Seoul, South Korea

  Pyongyang, North Korea

 

 

Sources =

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/armistice-ends-the-korean-war

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Armistice_Agreement

https://web.archive.org/web/20140305164517/http://news.findlaw.com/cnn/docs/korea/kwarmagr072753.html

“Truman” by David Mc Cullough, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1992.

JULY 16 = The Atom Bomb is First Tested

On today’s date, July 16 in 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m., the first atom bomb is success- fully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico. This was the end result of  the Manhattan Project,  which was thee code name which was given to the efforts of the United States government to produce an Atom Bomb. Pictured above is a photo of the explosion.

 Leó Szilárd and Albert Einstein Warn FDR

The effort had been going on for some years, ever since a letter written by the famed physicist Albert Einstein, and conceived by Einstein and the Hungarian physicist Leó Szilárd In 1939 was sent to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Einstein (below) and Szilárd came to the conclusion that the neutron-driven fission of heavy atoms could possibly utilized to create a nuclear chain reaction which could yield vast amounts of energy for electric power generation or… atomic bombs. in the letter, written on August 2, 1939, just one month minus a day that Hitlers’ armies invaded Poland and began World War II. And the letter didn’t hesitate to point fingers:

“I understand that Germany has actually stopped the sale of uranium 

from the Czechoslovakian mines which she has taken over. That she should have taken such early action might perhaps be understood on the ground that the son of the German Under-Secretary of State, von Weizsäcker, is attached to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Berlin where some of the American work on uranium is now being repeated.”

General Groves Assembles the Team

This led FDR to thee conclusion that a committee of scientists needed to be formed in order to counter the Nazi threat.  Initially the amount of $6,000.00 was granted toward this project, but with onset off war with Germany in December of 1941 this cap was removed. Brigadier

General Leslie Groves (left) who had himself spent his army career as an engineer, was put in charge of organizing the whole project, which included assembling the finest scientific minds in the United States, and bringing them into his program. Groves was introduced to Robert Oppenheimer.  Oppenheimer had like Einstein and others had made known his concerns about the Germans coming up with an atomic weapon, and this brought him to Groves attention. Groves had been favorably impressed with clarity of Oppenheimer’s vision as well as his determination to get the bomb before the Germans could.  These were two very different types of men; Groves determined and quite boorish, and Oppenheimer cerebral and intellectual. But they both managed to work together at the secret facility that was put together by Groves at Los Alamos, New Mexico. In true U.S. Governmental fashion, the Manhattan Project grew to the employment of over 130,000 people and cost close to US $2 billion (roughly $27 billion in 2016 dollars).

The Bomb is Assembled and Tested

Neither Groves nor Oppenheimer were pleasant taskmasters for the men working under them. Maj. General Kenneth Nichols called Groves “…the biggest sonovabitch I ever met in my life. I hated his guts and 

so did everybody else.” But with the men working at Los Alamos and elsewhere in the country he and Oppenheimer produced results – the bomb which was tested on this date.  The first detonation of a nuclear weapon was given the Code Name “Trinity” by the ever mercurial Oppenheimer (left) who had been so inspired by the poetry of John Donne a  poet of Elizabethan England.  After an earlier delay groves resumed the countdown. At the sixty second point, the scientists smeared suntan lotion on their faces and slipped on welding goggles. And at 5:29 a.m. the detonation unleashed the explosive energy of about 22 kilotons of TNT (92 TJ). There was only one possible target left, as Germany was out off the war, and that was Japan. It was so used on Hiroshima (Aug. 6) and Nagasaki (Aug. 9, 1945), after which Japan finally surrendered. By March 1946, when Oppenheimer met President Harry Truman, he had long since decided that the use of the Atom bomb had been terribly wrong. “Mr. President, I have blood on my hands,” To which Truman sternly replied “It’ll all come out in the wash.” After Oppenheimer had departed, Truman said to an aide: “Don’t you bring that fellow around here again.” Such are the vagaries at the intersection of politics and science…..

SOURCES =

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein%E2%80%93Szil%C3%A1rd_letter

http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0028869/bio

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_Project


 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_(nuclear_test)

“Past Imperfect – History According to the Movies” Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1995.

JUNE 7 = Earthquake Wrecks Pirate Haven at Port Royal

Port Royal, a natural harbor on the island of Jamaica was a veritable den of pirate iniquity by 1692. It had been called “richest and wickedest city in the world” by some.  But on today’s date, June 7 in 1692 the city was virtually swallowed up by an earthquake and tsunami which left it an uninhabitable mess, but which gave rise to one of the finest cities of the Caribbean.

Port Royal Grows Into a Pirate Haven

Established by the Spanish in 1518, by the 17’th Century it had become a center of commerce and shipping in the Caribbean. It also became a home for privateers (which were essentially free-lance pirates operating with the tacit but never open blessing of one European power or another) for nations – mainly the English and the Dutch which wanted to raid Spanish shipping without going to war with the Spanish

empire. It was during the war with Spain with the English between 1655 and 1680 that Port Royal became a haven and a hideout for pirates of every sort. As said above it was a natural harbor and thus an excellent buccaneer hiding place, and launch site for their raids.  Of course along with this came all of the brothels and hundreds of taverns that went along with the pirate life. And along with this came the legal trade of slaves and sugar, and all manner off plunder that made Port Royal such a key piece of the not so legal mercantile picture in the Caribbean.

The “Ungodly and Debauched People” Are Hit By an Earthquake

Well in this corner of the Caribbean, on the morning of today’s date at about 11:40 pm the Rev Emmanuel Heath, wrote that he had concluded prayers – “to keep up some show of religion among a most ungodly, debauched people” – and was patronizing a local tavern. Then he felt the floor started to sway beneath him. Plates, wine and chandeliers all came crashing to the floor.  The Reverend rushed outside just in time to see “the earth open and swallow up a multitude of people, and the sea mounting in upon us”. As Port Royal grew many of the buildings had been built on land that had simply been thrown in to fill up water. Thus, when the quake came it had only to sweep this fake land away. The tremor, the soil liquefaction and the huge tsunami that followed wiped the pirate den away with ease.

               Above  is a picture of the wreck of Port Royal, circa 1692.


The Frigate “Swan’s” Journey and Mr. Galdy

The the frigate H.M.S. “Swan” had been in a slipway on the east end of the Port having the barnacles scraped away from her keel.  Suddenly she was thrust upward by monstrous seismic wave and was sent on a bizarre ride through the town skimming over the parts that had already been flooded, “sailing” over the tops of buildings at vast speeds.  But because she had so many ropes hanging from her sides that large numbers of would-be victims were able to grab onto her as “Swan” barreled trough the town and were miraculously saved. The “Swan” finally came to rest when she was beached on top of a building which had been partly sunken. A very strange experience happened to

one Thomas Galdy.  He was walking along when the second tremor opened a huge fissure in the ground before him into which he was swallowed up.  A moment later came the third tremor – a seismic sea wave that forced Galdy up from his spot like a cork and onto level ground again.

The Totals of Port Royal’s 1692 Quake.

There were a total of  three separate tremors on that hellish morning. They lasted it total less than two minutes.  But because of the landfill on which most of the houses had been built, almost the entire town was tossed about, and then flooded under some 43 feet of water by the resulting Tsunami. I have found sources on-line and in print calculating the number of dead as anywhere between 1,600 and 3,000. But the town had been totally obliterated.  The subsequent aftershocks kept a lid on any hopes of rebuilding the old pirate’s den. But in time a new city rose up nearby: the city of Kingston, Jamaica – one of the most beautiful cities in the whole of the Caribbean.

Sources =

“Darkest Hours – the Great Book of Worldwide Disasters – From Ancient times to the Present”

by Jay Robert Nash, Wallaby Books, New York, 1976

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/earthquake-destroys-jamaican-pirate-haven


https://www.eqc.govt.nz/news/on-this-day-1692-jamaica-earthquake

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/mar/24/story-cities-9-kingston-jamaica-richest-wickedest-city-world

 http://www.thewayofthepirates.com/regions-and-places/port-royal/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1692_Jamaica_earthquake

MAY 20 = Strauss & Davis Acquire Patent for Blue Jeans

On today’s date, May 20 in 1873, San Francisco businessman Levi Strauss, and a Nevada tailor Jacob Davis were granted a patent on a special kind of work pants.  Made from a tough cloth called “Denim”, these pants were  reinforced with metal rivets. This was the birth of  the most famous and often worn garments in the world: blue jeans.

Levi Strauss Started Out As An Immigrant

Born in Buttenheim, Bavaria, in 1829, Loeb Strauss immigrated to New York  in 1847 with his family after his father died. He was working at in his family dry goods store  J. Strauss Brother & Co.by 1850 and changed his from Loeb to Levi.  But these were exciting times in America with gold having been discovered in California so young Levi decided to head west and seek his fortune with the rest of the

 gold-hungry diggers.  He set up shop in San Francisco putting together a wholesale dry goods business bearing his own name. But he worked as a representative of the family firm. In this company he fed the need for everything having to do with gold mining: shovels, pick-axes and all manner of dry goods. He also imported fabric and clothing all of which he distributed to the hundreds of small stores in the quickly proliferating communities of settlers and gold miners.

A New Kind of Workpants Were Needed

A man who frequently used bolts of cloth made from denim, was at Latvian Jewish immigrant, one Jacob Davis. This fabric had it’s origins in cities of France. “Gênes” was the french word for Genoa, which may account or the origin for “jeans” in Nimes they attempted to produce a product like the jeans but wound up with a similar twill product which was called “denim” from it’s origins in “de Nimes” (“from Nimes”).

Well it seems that Mr. Davis (left) had a customer who was forever buying cloth to reinforce torn pants. Davis had come up with the idea of using copper rivets to reinforce the points of greatest strain — pocket corners as well as the base of the cotton fly. Davis lacked the necessary funds to afford the cost of a government patent for such an idea. So in 1872, Davis wrote to Strauss, telling  him of the idea of copper rivets and asked his financial backing for his rivet reinforced denim work pants. Levi Strauss liked the idea so on today’s date in 1873 they were granted U.S. Patent # 131,121 for the “Improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openings”

Of Course There are Always Conflicting Reports…

One paragraph in a Wikipedia source states:

“Popular legend incorrectly states that it was imported from Nimes, France. A popular myth is that Strauss initially sold brown canvas pants to miners, later dyed them blue, turned to using denim, and only after Davis wrote to him, added rivets.Initially, Strauss’ jeans were simply sturdy trousers worn by factory workers, miners, farmers, and cattlemen throughout the North American West.”

That last sentence has it right, though.  Strauss’ jeans became a huge selling favorite among workers of all types throughout the United States. The original name for the jeans: “XX”– was changed to 501 by 1890 and it had become a huge seller. They were the 1920’s best selling work pants in the United States. And eventually it caught on with young people all over the world. So jeans have become an industry and style unto themselves Quite a growth story, isn’t it?

Sources =

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levi_Strauss_%26_Co.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeans

http://thejeansblog.com/denim-brand-history/the-history-of-levis-jeans/

http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/bluejeans.htm

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/levi-strauss-and-jacob-davis-receive-patent-for-blue-jeans

MAY 15 = Women’s Army Corps is Established

“Your Job: To Replace Men. Be Ready To Take Over.”

– From the physical training manual published by the War Department in July 1943, entitled “You Must Be Fit” which was intended to bring the women recruits to top physical condition.  On today’s date, May 15 in 1942, a bill establishing a women’s corps as a part of the U.S. Army became law, creating the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAACs) and granting women official military status. It is difficult to imagine the men who supported this measure could have had any idea of today’s military with women in every facet of duty, including combat roles.  But that’s what they were going for: right there in black and white.

The Legislation for the WAACs

Representative Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts (below), one of the first women ever elected to congress, introduced this legislation which would make it possible for women to serve in non-combat positions in the army. Rogers had been active in volunteer work for the Red Cross and had served in overseas military hospitals. As a member of congress from 1925 onward she was appointed to the Committee on

Veterans Affairs. Rep. Rogers  introduced the legislation in May of 1941, but was held up for months until the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 put the matter on a faster track… still it wasn’t until today’s date in 1942 that it finally passed, although a section backing the enlistment of 150,000 volunteers was at first limited by executive order to 25,000. At first the benefits that went to men were greater than women, but by July 1942 a bill dropped the word “Auxiliary” from the name making them WACs and they were granted full Army benefits in keeping with the men.

“My best soldiers….”

The work that the WACs were assigned covered a great many different sorts of occupations.  Air Traffic Control, Radio Operations, Electrician work on down to basic Office Clerking jobs and occasional mechanic’s work were all areas that women covered.  But the Army always made it clear that these jobs would free men up for combat work, in order to soothe public sensitivities about having women in the military. The

work they did must have been done well as Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur referred to the WACs as “my best soldiers” adding that they were better disciplined, complained less, and in general worked harder than the men. All told once they were allowed to serve in greater numbers, the (Above: WAC Signal Corps Operators)150,000 who did serve freed up the equivalent of 7 full divisions of men for combat. No less an authority than Gen. Dwight Eisenhower said: “their contributions in efficiency, skill, spirit, and determination are immeasurable” 

The WACs Give Way to the Modern Military

As a separate branch of the military the WAC was in 1978 disbanded, and all of the women’s units were integrated with their male counterparts.  WACs then were moved into whatever Military Specialty they had been working in before.  And ever since that time, women have worked with men in the same units.  This has included work in or nearby combat areas. In 1994 Les Aspin directed that “substantial risk of capture” could no longer used as grounds for keeping women out of some military units. So there you have it! That basic purpose stated so boldly way back in the original WAC manual : “Your Job: To Replace Men. Be Ready To Take Over.” has been more than fulfilled.

Sources =

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edith_Nourse_Rogers

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/legislation-creating-the-womens-army-corps-becomes-law

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_Army_Corps

http://www.thehistoryreader.com/modern-history/may-15-1942-formation-womens-auxiliary-army-corps/