Join the GGRWHC at its annual reception to meet us or to mingle with friends old and new. Wine and hors d’oeuvres ! Then a brief update on our past year and future plans before celebrating the massive registration in 1918 of local women for war work and, now, the successful digitization of Kent County's unique collection!
At the end of April, 1918, volunteers for the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense participated in a national survey collecting data about Kent County women registering for home front service during World War I. They recorded personal information about interests and skills that could be useful to the war effort and completed over 23,000 registration cards.
Now this collection is fully digitized (
link to digitized cards) at the Grand Rapids Public Library and will be enormously valuable to academics, social historians, genealogists-- anyone just curious to learn about the local women of that era. The cards provide biographical information, such as education levels, skills, employment status, and much more.
Since this collection is very rare, and the largest so far uncovered, it represents one of the fullest pictures we have of the nation's women in the early twentieth century.
Photos from the reception last year.
Thursday, March 21
Second Line of Defense:
West Michigan Women and the Great War
Lowell Township Hall,
2910 Alden Nash Ave SE
Free and open to the public.
In case you missed it, you have another chance to catch this program with its tremendous visuals in Lowell. World War I had a surprising impact on women and they, in turn, had tremendous impact on the war--far greater than is generally known.
Hear the story of American women as citizens during the largest wartime mobilization of our young country and dispel myths that women’s lives were led only in their homes.
Upon U.S. entry into the war in 1917, women's groups across the nation transformed their organizational structures for war work. Led by the Woman’s Committee of the Council of National Defense, they made contributions that ranged far beyond the war and their traditional gender roles and addressed the nation’s failure to assess serious food, health, and labor problems suddenly compromising national security when a huge percentage of American men failed military physicals. Hear how West Michigan women a hundred years ago were among midwestern leaders whose pioneering efforts have been too long neglected. Get ahead of history--credit them by joining us in Lowell!
Hats off to the historical women who've shaped West Michigan!
Please take a moment to forward this message to others you know who may be interested in women's history. If you've received this message as a forward, consider joining our mailing list in order to receive future updates about programming.
Thank you for your interest in preserving and celebrating the history of the many phenomenal women who've helped to shape West Michigan! If you aren't already a supporter of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, consider investing in our work as a volunteer or with an annual donation. Visit our website for more information and the ability to donate online.