March 1943. “Camouflage class at New York University, where men and women are preparing for jobs in the Army or in industry. This model has been camouflaged and photographed. The girl is correcting oversights detected in the camouflaging of a model defense plant.”
July 1942. “Ford bomber plant at Willow Run, Michigan. Inspection of more than a thousand separate tubing pieces composing the fuel, hydraulic, de-icing and other systems in a bomber is a highly important job. This young employee at the giant Willow Run plant uses her tiny flashlight to discover any internal defects in the tubing.” Photo by Ann Rosener, Office of War Information.
Princess Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in February 1945 at the age of 19. She trained as a driver and mechanic, although she slept at home rather than in barracks with her fellow recruits. The princess reached the rank of Junior Commander. Mary Churchill, Winston Churchill’s youngest daughter, was also a member of the ATS.
WACs decorating their Christmas tree while in the field in Italy, 1944/Margaret Bourke-White
On the morning of September 4, 1957, fifteen-year-old Dorothy Counts set out on a harrowing path toward Harding High, where-as the first African American to attend the all-white school – she was greeted by a jeering swarm of boys who spat, threw trash, and yelled epithets at her as she entered the building.
Charlotte Observer photographer Don Sturkey captured the ugly incident on film, and in the days that followed, the searing image appeared not just in the local paper but in newspapers around the world.
People everywhere were transfixed by the girl in the photograph who stood tall, her five-foot-ten-inch frame towering nobly above the mob that trailed her. There, in black and white, was evidence of the brutality of racism, a sinister force that had led children to torment another child while adults stood by. While the images display a lot of evils: prejudice, ignorance, racism, sexism, inequality, it also captures true strength, determination, courage and inspiration.
Here she is, age 70, still absolutely elegant and poised.
Girls Venture Corps and Girls Training Corps memorial at The National Arboretum, Staffordshire.