Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27, 1773- Parliament passes the Tea Act

The British Parliament passes the Tea Act, a bill designed to save the faltering East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and thus granting it a monopoly on the American tea trade. The low tax allowed the East India Company to undercut even tea smuggled into America by Dutch traders, and many colonists viewed the act as another example of taxation tyranny......

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Local Rosies Honored as Women in History by Fayetteville DAR

Pictured (l-r) are James Waldrop Chapter DAR American History Chairman Phyllis King with Fayette County Rosies Sybil Hill, Dot Miller and Betty Dodds.

The James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution in Fayetteville recently honored three Fayette County women with the Woman in American History Award 2009.

During World War II, six million women joined the workforce , shattering myths of a woman's place and paving the way for future generations to become viable workers in the job market.

They were collectively called "Rosie, the Riveter" but performed many jobs. Three million women were Red Cross volunteers and Civil Defense workers. Two million were clerical workers, and one million were hired by the federal government.

In the 1943 issue of Newsweek magazine, those jobs were listed as work in shipyards, lumber mills, steel mills, and foundries. These women were the first generation to break out of the mold as homemakers as they became mechanics, boilermakers, and operated streetcars, buses, cranes, and tractors. They served as police officers, taxi drivers, lawyers, and journalists. They ran farms, planted crops, tended animals, and sewed uniforms.

The efforts of these women's wartime production included 296,429 airplanes, 102,351 tanks, 372,431 artillery pieces, 47 tons of artillery ammunition, 87,620 warships, 44 billion rounds of small arms ammunition, not to mention countless numbers of documents and material.

Even though considered ordinary, they pulled together to perform an extraordinary service to their country and America's full might was realized during a time of great need.

Betty Dodds had just moved to Fargo, North Dakota, in 1944 after graduating from High School, when she received a letter from the Federal Government asking her to come for an interview with the Office of Price Administration. At the tender age of 18, she went to work typing letters in answer to questions about quotas, pricing and rationing. She recalls the noise of many typists as they worked and the huge volumes of catalogued restrictions used to find the answers to questions.

After graduation in 1944, Sybil Hill of Mansfield, Georgia, moved to Atlanta to seek work. She found work in a defense plant on Sawtell Ave. across from the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. While at the defense plant she riveted and bucked the rivets in PBY plane wings. She was small and could climb inside the wing to buck the rivet more easily than some women. She remembers making $27-28 dollars a week in comparison to $17-18 a week in other jobs.

Dot Miller grew up in College Park, Georgia, and at age 19 went to work for the Immigration and Naturalization Service at 101 Marietta St. in Atlanta, Georgia. Her job was to fast track the citizenship applications of foreign born service men who wanted to go overseas to fight for the USA. If these immigrants had been captured fighting for the USA, their acts would have been considered treasonous to other countries and would be executed.

The contributions of these women and all the women who left the shelter of staying at home full time to serve their country were the beginnings of the woman's movement in America. No longer were women satisfied to sit at home. These women proved to themselves and the world that they, too, could have a positive impact in the workplace.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Remembering The Battle of Guilford Courthouse

This step back into history with this Commemorative Moment is brought to you by the James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution in Fayetteville, GA.

The Battle of Guilford Courthouse

The Battle of Guilford Courthouse took place on 15 March 1781, 228 years ago, at the site of modern-day Greensboro, North Carolina.

It was a rather strange event, in which the British won the battle, but only by deliberately shelling and killing many of their own troops. It was also strange in that, even though it was a victory for Lord Cornwallis, he felt compelled right afterwards to abandon the Carolinas to the Patriots.

It was an American defeat that marked the last gasp for the British in the war.

The American commander, General Nathaniel Greene, had been running from Cornwallis to give his little army time to rest and refit in Virginia. In March of 1781, he thought it was time to cross back into North Carolina and give his lordship a fight.

The two armies met at Guilford Courthouse. The battle went back and forth, but finally, the Americans and British were all mixed up in hand to hand combat, and it appeared that the American Patriots were about to get the better of the fight. Desperate, Lord Cornwallis ordered his artillery to open fire on the tangle of men with grapeshot, which, of course, would cut down friend and foe alike. It worked, and the Americans broke off the fight, but many British soldiers were cut down by “friendly fire” from their own side. General Greene pulled out his army, leaving the field to Cornwallis, but saving his own force to fight another day, which they did. They went on to re-conquer the south from the British.

Cornwallis, meanwhile, found himself with a victory, but in the middle of hostile country, with very few supplies left. It was the beginning of the end for him and the British. He decided to abandon the Carolinas and move from Guilford Courthouse to rest and refit at a little Virginia seaport named Yorktown. The rest, as they say, is history.

References: George Washington’s War by Robert Leckie
The Road to Guilford Courthouse by John Buchanan

By Susan Sloan
James Waldrop Chapter DAR
Fayetteville, GA