Give Thanks for Crossing Guards

“Wait on the curb, kids. Wait until I say you can cross.” Janice, the crossing guard at Fairmount Avenue, stepped briskly into traffic, waving her sign and yelling “this means stop!” at the stray car that ignored the red “STOP” octagon she wielded. “Okay, kids, now you can go.” I crossed with a troupe of… Read more →

“Battalion of Life”: American Women’s Hospitals and the First World War

Shortly after the United States entered the First World War in April 1917, Dr. Rosalie Slaughter Morton of Virginia published an article describing the work of Scottish Women’s Hospitals, a medical unit staffed entirely by female physicians who were caring for wounded servicemen among the Allied nations. Morton hoped this agency would serve as a… Read more →

“A Male Department of Warfare:” Female Ambulance Drivers in the First World War

While serving as an ambulance driver during the First World War, Pat Beauchamp witnessed the harrowing sight of four soldiers “blown to pieces.”1 It was an experience that, she wrote: By chance, shortly before the explosion, Beauchamp and her fellow drivers had stopped further up the road for lunch. Part of the shock and fear… Read more →

Bohemian Rhapsody

In July 1985, at 6:20pm local time, Queen (comprised of bassist John Deacon, guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor, and lead singer Freddie Mercury) took the stage at Wembley Stadium for their performance as part of Live Aid, a star-studded concert broadcast worldwide to raise money for famine victims in Ethiopia. Critics have consistently ranked… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Red dead suffragettes. American Nazis in the 1930s. A history of the medical book. Childbirth in the age of addiction. Life span has little to do with genes. 8 dishes made by notorious poisoners. Period tracking apps are not for women. It’s fall, which… Read more →

“The Joy of My Life”: Seeing-Eye Dogs, Disabled Veterans/Civilians and WWI

On December 13, 1933, Captain A. J. C. Sington, then Chairman of the British Guide Dogs for the Blind, read a letter from an unnamed veteran of the Great War to the Northern Counties Association for the Blind. In the letter, the veteran described his life before and after receiving his guide dog: The unnamed… Read more →

Searching for a Warm Home: Women and the Italian Refugee Crisis of World War I

In a 1918 article about aid programs for refugee women and children in Italy, Ernesta Fasciotti recalled an encounter with a family she could not forget, describing her impression of a refugee woman: “a true lady, fine and delicate, who was carrying at her breast a newborn of a few months, and had clinging to… Read more →

Roadmap to the Brave New (Transmasculine) World: An Interview with Arlene Stein

In the past two decades, the word “transgender” has found a place in our everyday lexicon, featuring in headlines, TV shows, books, movies, and conversations in a wide variety of spaces. Yet, even as Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner have become household names, trans people continue to navigate a society where a common understanding of… Read more →

“Self-Sacrificing Service”: The Life and Death of a Red Cross Nurse in Wartime France

Mary Curry Desha Breckinridge, known as “Curry,” was one of the first American nurses to go to Europe during World War I. Her service overseas — and her untimely death — demonstrate the difficulties and dangers of wartime nursing, even as Curry exemplified popular prescriptions for women’s self-sacrificing service to others. Background Born in Lexington,… Read more →

Neuro-Psychiatry and Patient Protest in First World War American Hospitals

November 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. As historian and Nursing Clio writer Evan Sullivan tweeted earlier this week, “We’ve always benefitted from the proximity of living within a century’s distance from WWI, but after this Sunday, it will begin to drift further into history. It will be… Read more →