Do you like history? American history? Would you consider yourself knowledgable on our country’s past? If so, do you know these women?
- Dorothy Vaughan
- Mary Jackson
- Katherine Johnson
- Christine Darden
- Jeanette Rankin
- Dot Braden
- Ann Caracristi
- Virginia D. Aderholt
The list could go on and on. Somehow it seems the women have been sadly neglected in our history books.
The last three were among the first to learn that World War II was officially over. Recruited, along with thousands of others, these women worked decoding messages sent by the Germans and Japanese. As the war with Japan began to end the Japanese could not communicate with the USA directly because lines of communication had been cut. It was determined that the Japanese planned to send a message announcing their intent to surrender via the neutral Swiss. The message would be sent to the Japanese ambassador in Bern who would then take it to the Swiss foreign office.
As the message came through to the Japanese ambassador Virginia D Aderholt was the one who decoded the message. From there word was sent to President Truman that the surrender would be coming shortly.
These three women were part of the larger group who helped to break the complex systems used by the Axis Powers to hide their messages in secret. These young women were recruited from colleges all over the USA. Young and eager to help with the war effort as their husbands and brothers were fighting, they did much to help our country not only win the war, but saved many American lives in the process.
Representative Clarence Hancock of New York stated:
I believe that our cryprographers…in the war with Japan did as much to bring that war to a successful and early conclusion as any other group of men>
Want to know more about these terrific women?
Check out the book Code Girls – The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II written by Liza Mundy.
And follow my blog for the next few days as I share stories of other women neglected in our history books.
Women like “Stagecoach Mary” a formerly enslaved woman who carried the U.S. mail – and her rifle – through the Montana mountains.
Lulsa Capetillo, a Puerto Rican labor leader who was arrested in Havana for wearing pants in public.
And much more.