What It Means to Be American
A National Conversation

Engagements

The Black Women Soldiers Who Demanded Opportunities

During World War II, Four African Americans at Fort Devens, Massachusetts Went on Strike to Do Skilled Jobs Instead of ‘Maid Work’

By Sandra M. Bolzenius

In late 1944, four African-American women—Mary Green, Anna Morrison, Johnnie Murphy and Alice Young—enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps, or WAC, the newly established military branch for women. All were eager to help the nation’s fight for democracy by learning skills the army desperately needed, and all believed that later these skills would improve their employment prospects for the future. Instead, within a year after reporting for duty, the young women stood in the dock at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, charged …

Event
Engagements

The Midwest Farmers Movement That Challenged Gilded Age Capitalism

In the 19th Century, the Grange Was an Agricultural Brotherhood That Sought to Foster Mutual Self-Reliance and Free Themselves From Middlemen and Monopolies

By Jenny Bourne

Perhaps you’ve seen them on a leisurely weekend drive through the countryside—small white structures with the sign “Grange Hall.” Although the Grange is now a mere shadow of its former self, its legacy looms large in American history. As one of the largest grassroots movements in 19th-century America, the Grange left a broad imprint, including laws that still undergird modern governmental regulation of private enterprise.

Minnesotan Oliver Hudson Kelley, along with several colleagues, formed the Grange shortly after the Civil …