When Congress voted to enter World War I in 1917, many American women immediately joined the war effort, although some continued to argue for peace.
The Red Cross Nursing Service recruited women for the Army Nurse Corps and sent some 20,000 nurses overseas to help on the battlefront.
Doctors from the American Women’s Medical Association helped set up hospitals abroad, and many women did relief work overseas, assisting the multitudes of people who were left homeless and children who were orphaned.
At home women raised money and collected supplies to help the war effort. When the men went off to fight, the women kept the iron and steel mills, arms factories, and car plants running. They also took jobs as streetcar conductors, electricians, rail yard workers, and so on.
After the war, when the soldiers returned, many women lost their wartime jobs.
Close to 13,000 women served as “yeomanettes” in the navy and “marinettes” in the marines, mostly helping with office work.
Labor organizers parade through New York City on Labor Day 1910, celebrating their partial success after a major strike by women workers in of 1909-10.