Wednesday, February 28, 2007

March is Women's History Month . . . .

. . . .so we are reminded by the National Women's History Project. While I don't have current plans for a theme series like we did for Black History Month, there will be some women's history posts here and there through the coming month. Speaking of which, as we ended Black History Month with a profile of Brig. Gen. Mary J. Kight, we mentioned in passing the first woman to become a general in any service.

Maj. Gen. Jeanne M. Holm was born to Scandinavian immigrants in Portland, Oregon, in 1921 and enlisted in what was then known as the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps as a truck driver. Read the rest of her remarkable biography here.

[The "All History is Personal" anecdote: In 1974, when I was a Secondclassman (junior) at the U.S. Air Force Academy, I was writing a paper on the history of women in the military. In the course of that project, I ran into Maj. Gen. Holm. As in "ran into" her. I was in the Academy Library, in a typical hurry, and I scooted quickly through the stacks, not paying attention as I whipped around a corner. And I ran into Maj. Gen. Holm, nearly knocking her down! Why she was there, I do not know. But you cannot imagine the mortification a cadet experiences in that situation . . . . Befitting her status, Gen. Holm was quite gracious and forgiving of the shocked and stammering 20 year old trying to make his apologies.]

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