Illinois Humanities’ Road Scholars Speakers Bureau will feature a Veteran’s Day program highlighting the often overlooked, yet vital, role of women during World War II. Join us November 10th in Sterling, IL, for The Journey to Mollie’s War: WACS and WW II, a presentation by Cyndee Schaffer, which draws on the letters of her mother, Mollie Weinstein Schaffer, a member of the Women’s Army Corps in Europe that traces the footsteps of the women who were stationed in London before D-Day and during the post D-Day German buzz bomb attacks.
I will be the featured speaker for Women’s Equality Day at the Skokie Library on Monday, August 26, 2019 at 2 PM. World War II opened up, by necessity, opportunities for women to work and be seen outside the domestic sphere.
Please join me in Chicago at the Printers Row LitFest this Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9 at the Midwest Writers Association’s Tent W which we are sharing with the Windy City Historians. I will be there all day both days to discuss MWA and sell/discuss my book, “Mollie’s War: The Letters of a WWII WAC.” Hope to see you over the weekend!
Please read the interview with Cyndee in the May 9, 2019 Northbrook Star in the Shout Out Northbrook section.
What a wonderful start to Women’s History Month—speaking on March 1st to high school girls at Resurrection College Prep High School in Chicago about my mother’s story and the story of the women who served in the military in WWII. The students were so attentive!
I am so excited— just booked my first presentation of 2020! I am so grateful and honored that people are still eager to hear my mother’s story ten years after we published our book. I wish that my mother were still here to be a part of this. Thank you, Mom, for all you did and for your service to our country in WWII. I miss you every day.
2020 is the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.
I had the pleasure to meet Jenny Share at a joint meeting of MWA in October. She writes a blog about her book passion.
Mollie’s War is reviewed on Book Coffee Happy https://bookcoffeehappy.com/2018/12/14/3-interesting-nonfiction-books/?fbclid=IwAR3ZCSEHE2AdLyjcnKmX7beJsEpvZmzKODzi7xIVWSWIXG7VNWfJOXVrBJA
I am incredibly proud to have been selected as a Road Scholar from Illinois Humanities for the next two years to continue telling my mother’s story, Mollie’s War. This is the story of the women who served in the military during WWII. I have had the privilege and opportunity to travel across Illinois as part of Illinois Humanities over the last four years. If you are looking for an interesting story for your group, please contact me.
This year is Illinois’ Bicentennial celebration and we have had the privilege and honor to be a part of Illinois Humanities Road Scholar Speaker’s Bureau Bicentennial edition. We’ve met so many interesting people– as we traveled throughout the state– who served our country whether in WWII or subsequent times. We met some people who talked about their mothers being Rosie the Riveter, fathers and mothers serving in WWII all over the world. One woman talked about a friend who was a WAC and was in the same WAC recruiting movie as my mother. Her mother used to go the movie theater every day to see her daughter in the movie.
I also learned so much about the WACs stationed in Illinois. WACs during WWII served in most states in various capacities at the army bases. They were assigned to replace soldiers for overseas duty based on the need of army camp/post. Most were placed in clerical jobs. However, some performed nontraditional jobs such as radio operators, electricians, and air-traffic controllers.
University of Illinois was a major military school during both WWI and WWII. In 1943, they were the first university to establish a WATC program–Women’s Auxiliary Training Corps— which set an example for other universities to follow. The WATC prepared female students for the WAAC/WAC just as the ROTC prepared male students for the Army.
The first contingency of WACS was assigned to Camp Ellis in Fulton County in January 1944. Camp Ellis was a United States World War II Army Service Forces Unit Training Center and prisoner-of-war camp. Since the WACs were experienced in the Army routine, they started working in their new jobs within a day of arriving. In fact, two of the WACs because of their skills as telephone operators, were assigned as the telephone operators for the famous Roosevelt-Churchill Conference at Quebec, Canada in September 1944.
In April 1945 a unit of African American WACs who were medical technicians was assigned to Gardiner Hospital in Chicago.
So excited…..I just booked my first speaking engagement for 2019 at the Poplar Creek Library in Streamwood, IL. It is in March during Women’s History Month.