On Tuesday, Sept. 18, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in Fort Oglethorpe, in partnership with the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, invites the public to attend a free, 45-minute program at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 East Martin Luther King Boulevard, Chattanooga.
The doors open at 5:30 pm, and the formal presentation begins at 5:45 p.m., focusing on the only all African-American WAC battalion (6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion) that served in the Eastern Theater during World War II.
Women have played a role in every war in which this nation has been involved. However, not until World War II, did women become “soldiers.” During the war, Fort Oglethorpe and Chickamauga Battlefield became a training facility for these women, who were not readily accepted into service because most believed the military was no place for a woman. One group of women who trained on the North Georgia military post faced double jeopardy; they were female and they were African-American. This meant they were forced to prove themselves twice, and they did just that in the face of their critics.
For more information about upcoming programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, please contact the Lookout Mountain Visitor Center at 423- 821-7786, the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 706-866-9241, or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/chch.