The Hello Girls: The Story of America’s First Female Soldiers (Jim Theres, 2018, 55 min.)
12 noon, Sunday 4 November
Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, Michigan Tech
Screening as part of the 41 North Film Festival (41northfilmfest.rg), November 1-4
In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women to France as telephone operators who connected over 26 million phone calls and translated conversations between American and French troops to help win the Great War. The women swore Army oaths, wore uniforms, held rank, and were subject to military justice. When they returned home and tried to join veterans’ organizations, the U.S. government told them they were civilian contractors and not veterans. For 60 years, the women fought their own government for recognition. In 1977, with the help of Sen. Barry Goldwater and Congresswoman Lindy Boggs, they won. Unfortunately, only a handful were still alive.
James Theres’ 2018 documentary features rare 100-year old film footage of America’s first female soldiers courtesy of the National Archives and never-before-seen photos from family archives.