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Tag Archives: New York Historical Society

World War II and the WAVES: My Eighth-Grade English Teacher, Nancy Castellano

I’ve written elsewhere on this website about my amazing 8th grade English teacher, Nancy Castellano.  She taught me at Frelinghuysen Junior High (now Middle School) in my hometown of Morristown, New Jersey.  I remember reading Les Miserables (an abridged version–the original is 5 volumes long) by Victor Hugo with her! If you would like to read the entire novel, click here.  Below is the famous image of Cosette from Les Miserables by Emile Bayard from the first edition.

The original image of Cosette from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. The image is by Emile Bayard.

Nancy and I got in touch after 40 years (!) due to World War II.  She has published a fascinating book about what life as a member of the WAVES was like.  The WAVES were “Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service.”

I’ve also written about the current exhibit at the New York Historical Society on World War II & NYC.

Well, it turns out the museum organizers interviewed Nancy about her time in the WAVES and about her book.  And she “appears” in the exhibit at a kiosk with a video of her talking about her time in the WAVES.  In fact, the second part of Section 3 of the exhibit, is all about the WAVES.  Here is a photo of WAVES marching at Lehman College.

[WAVES marching]. Courtesy of Lehman College, CUNY. Special Collections, Leonard Lief Library (Bronx, New York).

Here is a video of Nancy telling about her experiences with the WAVES!

Thank you, Nancy, for your service to our country!  It’s so important that you’ve shared this experience with those of us who were not alive during World War II.

And, for another neat story about a WAVE and her romance, visit this site about the USS Thomas Stone.

World War II & NYC: New York Historical Society Exhibit

How wonderful that an exhibit has opened at the New York Historical Society on World War II & NYC.  This exhibit will be open until May 27, 2013.  The exhibit has four sections:

1. New York Before Pearl Harbor, 1933–41

2. The New York Home Front, 1942–45

3. Going to War, 1942–45

4. Victory and Loss, 1945

Be sure to explore the site if you cannot attend.  Or explore before you go to the exhibit so you can xero in on exhibits that more interest you.

This site has many wonderful photos.

Here’s a poignant Soldier Portrait by Ben Brown

General and future president Eisenhower

And what about this amazing poster!

Poster about Women in the War

And this chilling cartoon:

This cartoon about War Aims by Oliver Harrington pulls no punches!

Do let Home Front Girl Diary know if you have attended and what your impressions were!

This New York Times article by Edward Rothstein reviewing the exhibit has more photos, so be sure to check it out!

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