United Service Organizations (U.S.)--1940-1950

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Interview with Kansas City Public School District board member Dr. A. Odell Thurman. Thurman discusses his family and early life in Mississippi and St. Louis, his father's work as a minister, attending (and later teaching at) Dunbar School, attending high school in Liberty and St. Joseph, attending Western University and later graduating from Lincoln University, getting a masters degree, and working as an educator in Kansas City, Missouri. He shares his thoughts about segregated schools in Kansas City, earning his PhD, and becoming an assistant superintendent for the school district.

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Interview with June Neal about her life and civilian work for the Army during World War II. She discusses growing up on a farm in Brown County, Kansas, during the Depression, and taking a job with the Army Effects Bureau in Kansas City in 1941, processing personal items for soldiers killed in the war. She also talks about her five brothers surviving their military service, the death of her first husband and life as a widowed young mother during the 1950s and returning to work at the Internal Revenue Service in Kansas City, and about a photograph appearing on the front page of the Kansas City Star of her kissing a serviceman during VJ Day celebrations near 12th and Main. The photograph later appeared in Life magazine, resulting in calls and letters from soldiers.

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Interview with Mary White about her experience as a "Rosie the Riveter" during World War II. She discusses growing up in rural northwestern Missouri, and coming to Kansas City at age 18 to work at the North American Aviation plant building B25 Bombers as part of the war effort. She later worked for a top secret project for Aireon Manufacturing, which she later suspected was an early radar system. She recalls rationing and shortages, people lost in the war, meeting troop trains and going to USO events; and also recounts the story of finally getting to see a complete B25 in 2012, and learning that it was one she worked on. She also discusses working for Sears and other companies after the war, her family, and life in retirement, as well as her thoughts on whether the level of patriotism reached in the WWII era will ever be reached again.

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Interview with Georgene Stinnett in which she describes her childhood on an Iowa Farm, taking the civil service exam, and moving to Washington, DC, to work at the Pentagon during World War II. She discusses being a stenographer in the Signal Corps, taking dictation from officers and working with classified documents, having lunch while bands played in the Pentagon courtyard, and recalls Franklin D. Roosevelt's death and funeral. She also recalls measures taken by her family and others on the home front, and working as a USO hostess, where she met her husband, and notes improvements in medical care during the war years that benefited her during her pregnancies.

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