Col. Oveta Culp Hobby (right) talks with Auxiliary Margaret Peterson and Capt. Elizabeth Gilbert... . Al Aumuller, photographer. 1943. Prints and Photographs Division. LC-USZ62-118263 (b&w film copy neg.).
The division's radio collections are an especially valuable source for studying the lives of American women during the Second
World War. During that time, radio served many functions for women both at home and abroad. The comedies and entertainment
programs provided an escape mechanism by which women on both fronts could escape the realities of war. It was also an excellent
communications device that helped bolster confidence, reminding women at home why their family members were off fighting a
war. Most important, radio was used to recruit middle-class white women into wartime service, thereby expanding their previously,
rather limited, realm of experience. The Office of War Information (OWI) launched the “Womanpower” campaign in 1942. In addition,
OWI's American Women Speak (1942-43) and Women Can Take It (1942) told women's stories, described their contributions to the war effort, and praised them for jobs well done. Oveta
Culp Hobby (1905-1995), commander of the Women's Army Corps (earlier called Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, or WAACs), was often
heard on the radio describing the role of women in wartime (1944 broadcast, RWA 6883 B1). To mark her 1943 participation in
the program The Pause That Refreshes on the Air, the host, Andre Kostelanetz, included a choral rendition of Lt. Ruby J. Douglas's “The WAAC Is a Soldier Too” (LWO 5855 R31A1).