For the Female Phone Operators of World War I, a Woman’s Place Was on the Front Lines

By Making the World Safe for Democracy, the "Hello Girls" Boosted Suffrage Back Home

In 1917, U.S. Secretary of War Newton Baker disliked the idea of female workers on Army bases so intensely that he didn’t even want to build toilets for them. They might tarry. Females did not belong in the Army, Baker thought, though the more forward-thinking U.S. Navy already had welcomed women into its ranks to replace men in landlubber assignments.

Many adventurous and patriotic young women longed to defend their country during the Great War. They discovered that if they wanted to serve in uniform, they could not merely perform …

More In: World War I

How Deprivation and the Threat of Violence Made Sweden Equal

War and the Great Depression Spurred Its Embrace of the Welfare State

Sweden is almost universally regarded as a bastion of sensible people, temperate social policies, and steady, evenly distributed economic growth. So it surprises many to learn that the Scandinavian country …

When the President’s Best and Brightest Were Also the Richest

The Practice of Tapping the Moneyed Elite Began with WWI—and Was Surprisingly Scandal-Free

From our earliest days we Americans have embraced leaders from among the ranks of the nation’s moneyed elite. Voters set the tone when they chose George Washington, the wealthiest …

Those Jingoistic, Nationalistic, Patriotic Cartoons

From World War I to the War on Terror, Cartoons Have Served as Propaganda, Entertainment, and Political Tools

Cartoonists are propagandists and satirists, artists and writers. They make us laugh—in recognition and shame—and enrage and offend. At an “Open Art” event co-presented by the Getty in conjunction with …

The Next War

War’s a joke for me and you,
While we know such dreams are true.
–Siegfried Sassoon

Out there, we’ve walked quite friendly up to Death,–
Sat down and eaten with him, …

Stop Pretending Nothing Happens in August

The Month of Beach Vacations Is Also When World War I Broke Out, Iraq Invaded Kuwait, and the U.S. Bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The headlines these days all seem to demand exclamation marks. Iraq is teetering on the brink! Russian troops are massing on the Ukrainian border! Gaza lies in ruins! World’s worst …