The Hello Girls (DVD, The Story of America's First Female Soldiers)

SKU H0120
The Hello Girls

Featuring archival film and photographs from the National Archives, this documentary tells the story of America’s first female soldiers. In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women to France to help win the Great War, at General John J. Pershing’s explicit request. They were masters of the latest technology: the telephone switchboard. While suffragettes picketed the White House and President Wilson struggled to persuade a segregationist Congress to give women of all races the vote, these courageous young women swore the Army oath and settled into their new roles. By war's end, they had connected over 26 million calls and were recognized by Gen. Pershing for their service.

The Army discharged the last Hello Girls in 1920, the year Congress ratified the Nineteenth Amendment. When they sailed home, they were unexpectedly dismissed without veterans’ benefits and began a 60-year battle against their own government for recognition, a fight that a handful of survivors carried to triumph in 1979. Director James Theres reveals the challenges they faced in a war zone where male soldiers wooed, mocked, and ultimately celebrated them. Length: 56 minutes.

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