Joan Wehlen Morrison and Susan Signe Morrison in 2005.
Joan Wehlen Morrison wrote these diaries between 1937 and 1943. Her daughter, Susan Signe Morrison, found them, transcribed them, created a narrative arc for them, and sought out a publisher. Once it was accepted for publication by Chicago Review Press, Susan wrote the Preface to the Home Front Girl: A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up in Wartime America. The Preface gives a biography of Joan, tells about the discovery of the diaries and editing process, and concludes by suggesting how these diaries added to our historical record and could affect the reader.
Susan also added footnotes to help the reader know what Joan is referring to historically or culturally. Finally, the book has an index so you can find references quickly, such as when Joan talks about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, London, or even the “Beautiful Blue-Eyed Boy in Biology” [listed the way Joan does, under B. B. B. in B.!].
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Dear Susan, Thank you for making the effort to publish your mother’s diary. I am very interested in the 1930s and reading her diary has given tremendous, wonderful, first-person insight into life during that time. Terrific historic record! Cheers, John
Thanks so much, John! I appreciate your comment!
Dear Susan, My mother was a civilian cryptographer for the US Army Signal Corps from 1943 to 1945 in Arlington, Virginia. She was given certificates by the Military Intelligence Division of the War Department in appreciation for her service. They have serial numbers on them, and were signed by Major General Clayton Bissell, A.C. of S, G-2. My mother’s name was Janet Byers McCulloch, and she later married Robert Felton, a Navy veteran (Seabee).
She was born in 1921 and graduated from Ohio University in 1943. Immediately after that she went to Washington, D.C. to work for the government.
I would like to know more about her service. What branch she worked in? What were her duties? Who were her supervisors? Who were her colleagues? Where did she work?
Can you suggest to me how I can learn more about this, and who I can turn to for help?
Sincerely, Jeffrrey Felton
Hi, I think the best place to start looking is here: https://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww2. Contact them and they can help you. Good luck! Sounds fascinating!