Saturday, July 20, 2024
Michael Stone Online

One of Marines’ First Women Helped Pave Way for Military Acceptance

It’s 1942, or maybe early 1943, and in the basement of the Department of the Treasury in Washington D.C., June Whitehurst can’t help but stare at an unfashionable older woman walking toward her.

The hair, the cotton hose, the dress, the flat shoes — all of it’s “just terribly old-fashioned,” Whitehurst observes. “I wouldn’t have been caught dead in flat shoes. Even though I walked to work, I wore heels all the time.

“The only excuse I gave her was: It is wartime.”

As the two get closer to one another, Whitehurst recognizes the face.

“It’s Eleanor Roosevelt,” Whitehurst realizes, surprised that the first lady is guard-less but figuring she had traveled through the underground connection between the treasury and the White House.

“And I’m still staring at her. I just can’t help it. She looks so terrible. … So she says hello to me, and I say hello back.”

Read the full story in Senior Times magazine.

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