Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov,
MOINES) – The State Historical Museum’s “Movies at the Museum” will strike a patriotic theme next month when it screens “BRATS: Our Journey Home” and hosts a presentation about the formation of the Women’s Army Corps during World War II.
“BRATS” will be shown Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.; Nov. 3 at 2 p.m.; and Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. as a special Veterans Day presentation at the State Historical Museum, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines’ Historic East Village. Tickets are $5 and are available at Iowatix.com or at the door. Veterans will receive a $1 discount to the Nov. 11 showing. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.
Narrated and featuring songs by Air Force brat Kris Kristofferson, “BRATS” includes interviews with General Norman Schwarzkopf and children of United States military personnel who share intimate memories about their unique childhoods – growing up on military bases around the world, and then struggling to fit into an American lifestyle with which they have little in common.
After each movie, Fort Des Moines Museum Education Coordinator Michael Kates will present “The Women’s Army Corps: A History of Change.”
During World War II, Fort Des Moines hosted the formation of the first Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), later renamed the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), training 72,000 troops and commissioning the first female officers for non-combat duty between 1942 and 1945.
Among the 436 initial WAAC officers were 39 black women who graduated as 3rd Officers (2nd Lieutenants) in August 1942 and served in England and France in 1945. Fort Des Moines produced 118 black female officers and 3,656 enlisted women by war’s end, representing four percent of all WAC troops.
The success of the WACs freed 250,000 male soldiers for combat duty in Europe and the South Pacific, and led the march toward racial and gender inclusion and equality throughout greater American society.
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at www.culturalaffairs.org.
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