“The Hello Girls”: A Documentary Film Screening and Panel Discussion


At the Wilton Library

In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women to France as telephone operators to help win the Great War. They swore Army oaths, wore uniforms, held rank, and were subject to military justice. By war’s end, they had connected over 26 million calls and were recognized by General John J. Pershing for their service.  When they returned home, the U.S. government told them they were never soldiers. For 60 years, they fought their own government for recognition. In 1977, with the help of Sen. Barry Goldwater and Congresswoman Lindy Boggs, they won. Unfortunately, only a  handful were still alive.

Following the documentary screening, three panelists will discuss the ‘Hello Girls’; the role of women in the U.S. Armed Forces;  and the impact of the return of the Hello Girls from France at the end of WWI on the path toward ratification of the 19th Amendment.


Ret. Captain Dee Lippman, US Army,

  • Vietnam Veteran, Fairfield University
  • Faculty and lobbyist for the Women’s
  • Memorial in Washington, DC

Dr. Amy Pettigrew, granddaughter of ‘Hello Girl’ Ellen Turner,

    • former Dean, Miami Dade College School of Nursing (FL) and Xavier University School of Nursing (OH)

Dr. Darla Shaw,

  • Professor Emeritus, Western Connecticut State University (Education and Women’s Studies)
  • actor/depictor of Women in History
  • 38-year veteran of Ridgefield School System

This program is presented by: the League of Women Voters, in collaboration with the Wilton Library, the James B. Whipple American Legion Post 86, and the Wilton Historical Society It is part of Wilton’s Centennial Celebrations of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Please register: www.wiltonlibrary.org or call 203-762-6334