Members of the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) were the first women other than nurses to serve overseas in World War II. Cyndee Schaffer’s mother, Mollie Weinstein Schaffer, was one of them. Drawing upon excerpts from Mollie’s letters written home during the war, this presentation provides a romantic, yet frightful, glimpse into the life of a woman in uniform during this crucial time in history. It details Mollie’s experiences from basic training in Florida in October 1943 to the dramatic moment when the Statue of Liberty came into view upon her return in November 1945. It traces the footsteps of the women who served in Europe, following Mollie and her fellow WACs who were stationed in London, England before D-Day and during the post D-Day German buzz bomb attacks. The WACs were transferred to Normandy, and then to Paris after its liberation by the Allies. After VE Day (Victory in Europe), they served in Versailles. Finally, they traveled to Frankfurt, Germany, as part of the Army of Occupation and witnessed firsthand the devastation of that country before returning to the United States. This presentation will invite contemplation of the vital and varied roles that women have fulfilled in the American military.
This event is being produced by the Champaign County Genealogical Society in partnership with Illinois Humanities. This event will also be cosponsored by The Urbana Free Library and the Champaign County History Museum. The Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau invites Illinois authors, artists, and educators to share their expertise and enthusiasm with people throughout state, enabling local nonprofit organizations to present free-admission cultural programs of high quality to their communities for a modest fee.
Illinois Humanities is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Illinois General Assembly [through the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA)], as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by speakers, program participants, or audiences do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH, Illinois Humanities, IACA, our partnering organizations, or our funders.
For more information visit ilccgs.org (under the meetings/research night tab) or contact the Adrienne at email@example.com