Remember when. . .

  • Administrative professionals were known as "girl fridays?"
  • A dictionary, a dust cloth and a mirror were essentials for the job?
  • An invention called Liquid Paper revolutionized the office?

A nationwide search is underway for women who served as secretaries in politics
and government in the nation's capital and have a compelling or entertaining story
to tell.

The oral history project is directed by Lillian Cox, a freelance journalist with
The San Diego Union-Tribune and former secretary in The White House
during the Nixon administration.

"As a history reporter, it has been my privilege to write about the contributions
women have made in the military and in factories during wartime," she said.
"But little has been reported about their role as secretaries in the nation's capital."

Clerical positions were the sole domain of men beginning with the first
administration of George Washington in 1789.

"Most people remember that Clara Barton was the founder of the American
Red Cross, but few know that in her youth, in 1854, she became the first woman
secretary for the Federal government," Cox said.

The biggest strides for women occurred at the onset of World War I when they
responded to the government campaign, 'For girls must work so men can fight'
and converged on Union Station to assume clerical jobs vacated by men. A
few blocks away senators debated their fitness to vote.

Women's performance during the war led to passage of the 20th Amendment.
By 1930 they became the backbone of civil service.

"Women continued to prove their diligence and capabilities during World War II
and into the post-war years till today,"  Cox said.

"My goal is to chronicle the important role these ladies played in American history
and politics, a role that in many ways has been overlooked in historical literature."

Cox will be compiling the research for a book and museum exhibit.

To participate in this historic project call Lillian Cox at (760) 805-6950 or email

lilliancox@live.com
.
The Washington Secretaries
Oral History Project
Senior Women
Web
"The Washington Secretaries Oral History Project"
Lillian Cox Interview, Gayle Falkenthal Show, April 23, 2009
KCBQ-AM Radio, 1170
San Diego






Remember when. . .

  • Administrative professionals were known as "girl fridays?"
  • A dictionary, a dust cloth and a mirror were essentials for the job?
  • An invention called Liquid Paper revolutionized the office?

A nationwide search is underway for women who served as secretaries in politics
and government in the nation's capital and have a compelling or entertaining story
to tell.

The oral history project is directed by Lillian Cox, a freelance journalist with
The San Diego Union-Tribune and former secretary in The White House
during the Nixon administration.

"As a history reporter, it has been my privilege to write about the contributions
women have made in the military and in factories during wartime," Cox said.
"But little has been reported about their role as secretaries in the nation's capital."

Clerical positions were the sole domain of men beginning with the first
administration of George Washington in 1789.

"Most people remember that Clara Barton was the founder of the American
Red Cross, but few know that in her youth, in 1854, she became the first woman
secretary for the Federal government," she said.

The biggest strides for women occurred at the onset of World War I when they
responded to the government campaign, 'For girls must work so men can fight'
and converged on Union Station to assume clerical jobs vacated by men. A
few blocks away senators debated their fitness to vote.

Women's performance during the war led to passage of the 19th Amendment.
By 1930 they became the backbone of civil service.

"Women continued to prove their diligence and capabilities during World War II
and into the post-war years till today,"  Cox said.

"My goal is to chronicle the important role these ladies played in American history
and politics, a role that in many ways has been overlooked in historical literature."

Cox will be compiling the research for a book and museum exhibit.

For more information visit www.washingtonsecretaries.com. To share your
experiences visit washingtonsecretaries@blogspot.com or contact Lillian Cox at

l
illiancox@roadrunner.com.
The Washington Secretaries
Oral History Project
"The Washington Secretaries Oral History Project"
Lillian Cox Interview, Gayle Falkenthal  Host,
KCBQ-AM Radio, 1170, San Diego,
April 23, 2009