Bullet Points: 1945

This week I had the opportunity to look at articles from The Bullet, published in 1945. Perhaps the most difficult part of looking through The Bullets is finding information that is relevant to describing the classroom experience in the 1940s.

After combing through all of newspapers from 1945, I came across two articles that described some of the classes that were offered to women at MWC in the 1940s. One of them, interestingly enough, was flying. While this class did not actually count for college credit and was only available to girls who were in good academic standing, it is still fascinating to know that the Board of Visitors approved of this opportunity for girls.  The students would be given the chance to learn to fly on one of six planes at Garner Aviation Service. Certainly one of the most interesting classes offered to girls at MWC, this would be one that might be a bit difficult for our class to recreate in April. [1]

Another of the classes that was offered, demonstrates one of the many ways World War II affected academic life at the college. Directed in part my the College Unit of the Red Cross, MWC students would be given the opportunity to take classes in “HomeNursing.”  The article talked about the importance of this class and stated plainly that “home front health is a wartime necessity.”  It also stated that every class on home nursing should be filled to capacity, not only so women could help with the current war efforts, but also the post war period in which men “returning from their nation’s service” would need care. [2]

Another interesting article does not directly discuss classroom life, but details what a MWC student’s classroom experience would prepare them for after they graduated. Published at the beginning of the 1945-1946 school year, What the Class of ’45 is Doing, gave details on what jobs members of the class had, now that they had graduated. Many of these jobs involved teaching, but the subjects they taught ranged in everything from typing and mathematics to elementary education and commerce. Some women became stenographers, secretaries, and nurses. Ruth Abbey Brann even got a job working for Vogue in New York!

This will be the last research post I do for this project and a quote taken from one of the Bullet articles, seems like a fitting end to these blog posts,

“There is a tremendous job to be done in the world in the years just ahead. Women will be called upon to play a large part in politics, government, science and psychology as well as in education and art. No field will be closed to them. Just as it did after the last war, education for women will take a great step forward, probably in ways we cannot foresee.”[3]

It is interesting to think about what the women of MWC in the 1940s would have thought about UMW and the strides forward women have taken in education.

[1] “Board of Visitors Approves Flying ,” The Bullet, January 15, 1945.

[2]“Courses In Home Nursing Now Open to MWC Students ,” The Bullet, January 17, 1945.

[3] Camilla M. Payne, “Values,” The Bullet, October 15, 1945.