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Women's Equality Day 2015

Women's Equality Day

On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was certified as part of the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote. In 1971, Congress designated this date as Women's Equality Day to honor women and their continuing efforts toward equal rights.

The observance of Women's Equality Day takes place in offices, libraries, public facilities and on military installations across the country. NMHM is proud to join the Department of Defense and our local community in recognizing this great achievement in U.S. women's history, including their significant contributions to the field of military medicine.

Join NMHM as we commemorate Women's Equality Day during the month of August.

(Enjoy this selection of photographs from the museum's collections highlighting the important role of women in the military.)

 

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Dr. Mary E. Walker was the first woman to serve the U.S. Army as a contract surgeon. She is also the first and only woman to receive the Medal of Honor. This kit was used by Dr. Walker during the war. (M-151.00361)

(Disclosure: This image has been cropped to emphasize the subject.) (National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart / Released)

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Nurses pose for a picture on the hurricane deck of the USAHS Relief in 1898. (AMM2181)

(Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Silver Spring, Md.)

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Dr. Anita Newcomb McGee, an acting assistant surgeon in the U.S. Army and founder of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps that she directed from 1898-1901, led a group of trained nurses to work in Japanese army hospitals for six months in 1904. As volunteers, McGee and her nurses were treated as guests of the Japanese nation, greeted with "Welcome, American Angels of Mercy" banners in the streets.

Japanese and American military medical personnel attending an amputation at the Hiroshima Reserve Hospital, 1904. The impact of aseptic equipment and fittings is readily visible in this photograph by Herbert Ponting. (OHA 227 McGee Collection, 1904-08, no. 205.)

(Courtesy Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine)

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Students soar to 30,000 feet in altitude chamber flight. Six student Flight Nurses are shown in the altitude chamber at the Gunter school as they are taught the fine art of pre-flighting their oxygen mask before taking off on a simulated altitude indoctrination flight. T/Sergeant Inderrieden, Aeromedical Technician is shown in center as he conducts the indoctrination demonstration. Student nurses are from left to right: 2nd Lieutenant Kelley, USAF [U.S. Air Force] nurse; 1st Lieutenant Stark USAF nurse; 1st Lieutenant Shaw, USAF nurse; 1st Lieutenant Furness, USAF nurse; 1st Lieutenant White USAF nurse; and Flying Officer Fitzgerald, RCAF [Royal Canadian Air Force] nurse. Image courtesy of U.S. Navy BUMED Library and Archives. BUMED 09-8162-5

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A first lieutenant, assigned to the shock ward, takes blood pressure reading of a patient suffering from severe burns, somewhere in France, 1944. (SC 191775)

(Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Silver Spring, Md.)

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In 1946, Congress established the Women's Medical Specialist Corps. These gloves and hat were designed and owned by Col. Emma Vogel, considered the founder of the Specialist Corps. The manuscript outlines Vogel's charge to physical therapists. M-350.00078, OHA 355

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C-46 air evacuation. Patients in bunks in a plane. Woman in uniform standing near bunks. Soldier writing at a desk. World War II, Manila, Philippine Islands. (D45-416-34G(MAMAS))

(Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Silver Spring, Md.)

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Nurses assist in a surgery during the Korean War. (NCP4140)

(Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Silver Spring, Md.)

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A nurse places equipment to be sterilized in an autoclave. (NCP 13448)

(Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Silver Spring, Md.)