Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Women's History Month

Women’s History Month was an opportunity for us to celebrate and remember the contributions made by women in Arkansas history. Some of the more unique archival material we have pertaining to Arkansas women’s history can be found in the Arkansas State Council of Defense Records. The collection highlights work done in Arkansas by citizens in World War I. Inside that collection are the Women’s Committee of the Council of Defense registration cards from Sebastian and Crawford Counties.

In 1917, an Arkansas chapter of the Women's Committee of the Council of National Defense was established by Governor Charles Brough. Led by Ida Frauenthal, the advisory committee focused on registering women for war work, which involved food conservation and an overall willingness to serve. Lloyd England, chairman of the State Council of Defense wrote about the Women’s Committee: “[The Women’s Committee] shows how volunteer workers rendered a service that could not be purchased - it reveals the benefits that are to come to the State from the active participation in public affairs by women who have had the courage of proposing the adoption of the ideals and the practical ability of accomplishing them.”

The Sebastian and Crawford County registration cards are a wealth of information. They include names, ages, addresses, marital status, country of birth, color, time pledged for service, occupations, education, references and physical health. The card also includes information about what kind of work each woman was qualified for. Most importantly, the cards aren’t segregated; they include information on women in those counties from all races.

We’ve digitized a few of these cards. They can be viewed online in our Arkansas Women’s History Collection, along with other material about Arkansas women’s history:

1 comment:

  1. It is so important to celebrate the women of this great state. Mary Ann Arnold the first women mayor of Marked Tree. Hattie Caraway the first women elected in the U.S. senate. A lot of people don't know that Maya Angelou one of the great poets is from Arkansas. So much history if you go looking for it. We should definitely make it a priority to tell the next generation about these awesome ladies. This has inspired me to maybe write a blog on our website even though the two aren't related. You never know who might be reading it!