New York Women's History Month Military
Jane Delano

Jane Delano

Jane Delano (1862–1919), Jane A. Delano, from Montour Falls, New York, was an experienced nurse, administrator, and leader who was a pioneer in her field, overseeing the mobilization of U.S. nurses overseas during World War I. She graduated from the Bellevue Hospital Nursing School in New York City in 1886. She was the first superintendent of the Army nursing corps in 1909. Delano was largely responsible for the training and readiness of the 20,000 nurses who served in the war. She died in France in 1919 while there to check on the care the Red Cross was providing to American Soldiers.


Admiral Grace Hopper

Admiral Grace Hopper

Admiral Grace Hopper (1906–1992), Rear Admiral Dr. Grace Murray Hopper was a remarkable woman who grandly rose to the challenges of programming the first computers. During her lifetime as a leader in the field of software development concepts, she contributed to the transition from primitive programming techniques to the use of sophisticated compilers. She believed that “we’ve always done it that way” was not necessarily a good reason to continue to do so. Hopper joined the U.S. Navy during World War II and was assigned to program the Mark I computer. She continued to work in computing after the war, leading the team that created the first computer language compiler, which led to the popular COBOL language. She resumed active naval service at the age of 60, becoming a rear admiral before retiring in 1986.


Dr. Mary Edwards Walker

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker (1909–1996), Dr. Walker is the only woman to have won a Congressional Medal of Honor. After being one of the first women in New York to earn a medical degree, she volunteered with the Union Army as a doctor. Because she was a woman, she was initially forced to serve as a nurse. Her skill as a battlefield medic soon convinced her superiors to allow her to act in her trained capacity and she became an Army surgeon. Walker repeatedly demonstrated courage and initiative and spent four months in a Confederate Prison because they thought she was a female spy dressed as an Army surgeon. After the War, General William T. Sherman nominated her for a Medal of Honor for her repeated acts of bravery. Later, Walker became an advocate for improved medical care and better medical training for women, doctors, and nurses.

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