Parkland Press

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Hays lecture on May 19

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 by The Press in News Briefs


Jill Youngken, chief curator/assistant director of the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, 432 W. Walnut St., Allentown, will present a slide-lecture at the museum titled “The Making of a General: The Life of General Anna Mae V. McCabe Hays of Allentown” at 1 p.m. May 19.

Brigadier General Anna Mae V. McCabe Hays, USA, who died earlier this year, was the first woman General in U.S. military history.

She graduated from what is now William Allen High School.

Inspired by her family’s tradition of serving others, she enrolled in the Allentown General Hospital School of Nursing, where she received her nursing diploma in 1941.

With WWII underway, she joined the Army Nurse Corps in 1942 and served in a field hospital in the China-Burma-India Theater.

Remaining in the Nurse Corps, she subsequently served in a field hospital in the Korean War as well as several stateside assignments.

Hays pursued her education, which, together with her superior leadership skills, led to numerous promotions.

She was sworn in as the thirteenth Chief of the Army Nurse Corps on Sept. 1, 1967 at the age of 47.

In June 1970, she became the first woman General in U.S. military history.

Hays worked tirelessly to combat occupational sexism in the Army, including recommending several changes in policy that provided more equal treatment for servicewomen.

Youngken’s presentation will include numerous photographs of Hays, including images of her early life.

In addition, visitors will be able to view several pieces of Hays’ military and personal gear, including her military footlocker.

Admission is free to members.

There is a small cost for adult non-members, and non-member children.

Parking is available in the rear of the museum, on the street, and in nearby lots.

For more information, contact Joseph Garrera, executive director, at 610-435-1074.

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