Tag Archives: world war II

Seventy-Five Years Ago, the Military’s Only All-Black Female Band Battled the War Department and Won

An estimated crowd of 100,000 people clogged the intersections in Chicago’s central business district in May of 1945 for a war bond rally, one of several marking the War Department drive that week. Police had traffic stopped for blocks approaching the stage at State and Madison Streets, and reporters noted sales clerks and customers hanging out of store windows to catch a glimpse of any famous performers or war heroes who might arrive. Continue reading Seventy-Five Years Ago, the Military’s Only All-Black Female Band Battled the War Department and Won

The Woman Who Made a Device to Help Disabled Veterans Feed Themselves—and Gave It Away for Free

In 1952, Bessie Blount boarded a plane from New York to France to give away her life’s work. The 38-year-old inventor planned to hand over to the French military, free of charge, an extraordinary technology that would change lives for disabled veterans of the Second World War: an automatic feeding device. To use it, a person only needed to bite down on a switch, which would deliver a mouthful of food through a spoon-shaped tube. Continue reading The Woman Who Made a Device to Help Disabled Veterans Feed Themselves—and Gave It Away for Free

The 1949 Radiation Experiment That Contaminated Washington

The physicists who invented the nuclear bomb worked out of Los Alamos in California, but the people who did the dirty work of making the bombs were in Hanford, Washington. Throughout the Cold War, Hanford churned out plutonium for our nuclear arsenal. It was also, conveniently, a place to experiment with radiation.

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