Elizabeth Healey

Elizabeth Healey

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Elizabeth Healey was the wife of Joseph Healey, an apothecary from Harpurhey. Joseph Healey, who had been born in Bent in 1780, was influenced by the ideas of Major John Cartwright and had formed a Hampden Club in Oldham in 1816. A quack doctor who was virtually illiterate, Joseph Healey was one of the main leaders of the parliamentary reform movement in Lancashire.

Joseph Healey had a reputation for being a militant reformer and his Oldham banner at the St. Peter's Field demonstration was black with a white painted inscription: 'Equal Representation or Death'. After the Peterloo Massacre Healey was arrested along with Henry Hunt, Joseph Johnson, Samuel Bamford and John Knight and charged with "assembling with unlawful banners for the purpose of moving and inciting subjects of the king to contempt and hatred of the government". During the court case in March 1820, a great deal was made of Healey's 'Equal Representation or Death' banner. Joseph Healey was found guilty and sentenced to one year in Lincoln Prison.

Joseph Healey had expected trouble at St. Peter's Field and suggested his wife should stay at home. Elizabeth Healey, a committed supporter of parliamentary reform, rejected the advice. At the meeting Elizabeth became ill and took refuge at a house in Windmill Street from where she observed the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry Cavalry attack the crowd. Afterwards, Elizabeth Healey was interviewed about her experiences by Samuel Bamford.

I was determined to go to the meeting, and would have gone even if my husband had refused his consent. After much persuasion he consented. I left my daughter with a careful neighbour woman, and joined some other married females at the head of the procession. I was dressed plainly as a countrywoman, in my second best attire. My companions were also neatly dressed as the wives of working men. I had seen Mr. Hunt before that time; they had not, and some of them were quite eager to obtain good places, that they might see and hear one of whom so much had been reported.

In going down Mosley Street I lost sight of my husband. Mrs. Yates, who had hold of my arm, would keep hurrying forward to get a good place, and when the crowd opened for the Middleton procession, Mrs. Yates and myself, and some other women, went close to the hustings, quite glad that we had obtained such a situation for seeing and hearing all. My husband got on the stage, but when afterwards I saw him leap down and lost sight of him, I began to be unhappy. The crowd seemed to have increased very much, for we became insufferably pressed. We were surrounded by men who were strangers, we were almost suffocated, and to me the heat was quite sickening.

Every moment I became worse, and I told some men that I was sick, and begged they would let me pass. They immediately made a way, many of them saying, "make way, she's sick, let her go out," I passed out of the crowd, and turning to my right, I got on some high ground, on which stood a row of houses - this was Windmill Street. I thought if I could get to stand at the door of one of those houses I should have a good view of the meeting. I saw a door open, and I stepped in, the people of the house making no objections.

By this time Mr. Hunt was on the hustings addressing the people. In a minute or two some soldiers came riding up. The good folks of the house, and some who seemed to be visitors, said "the soldiers were only to keep order, they would not meddle with the people;" but I was alarmed. The people shouted, and then the soldiers shouted, waving their swords. Then they rode amongst the people, and there was a great outcry, and a moment after a man passed without a hat, and wiping the blood off his head with his hand, and it ran down his arm in a great stream. The meeting was all in tumult; there were dreadful cries; the soldiers kept riding amongst the people and striking with their swords. The front door opened, and a number of men entered, carrying the body of a decent, middle-aged woman, who had been killed.

Sarah Healey

Healey read for a BA in Modern History and English at Magdalen College, Oxford and an MSc in Social Policy from the London School of Economics. As Sarah Fitzpatrick, she received much media attention when captaining the Magdalen team which won University Challenge. Having joined the civil service into the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit in the Cabinet Office in 2001, [2] [3] she served in the Department for Education as the director for strategy and performance for a year from 2009, [4] and then as director for education funding 2010–2013, and then in the Department for Work and Pensions as director for private pensions for just under a year in 2013. [5] [6]

In December 2013, Healey was promoted to be director general in the then-Department for Culture, Media and Sport. In mid-2016, she joined the new Department for Exiting the European Union as one of their two directors general. After two years at DExEU, she moved to replace Shona Dunn as the head of the Economic and Domestic Affairs Secretariat. [2]

In March 2019, it was announced that Healey had been again promoted, returning to DCMS to be the permanent secretary, replacing Dame Sue Owen. [1]

Healey was appointed as a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the Queen's Birthday Honours for 2019 in June 2019. [7] [8]

Dementia Complicates The Search For 2 Lost Women In 'Elizabeth Is Missing'

Maud (Glenda Jackson) is haunted by two mysteries in the television film Elizabeth is Missing, based on a novel by Emma Healey.

Marsaili Mainz/Courtesy of STV Productions

Although growing old is the most common of experiences, there are surprisingly few good films about old age. Maybe because there's no audience. The young are too busy being young to be interested in those with gray hair. And the people over 50 who I know shudder at the thought of watching comedies about cute bucket-listers or dramas where the aged spend their days grappling with disease, death and loss.

My own heart sank when I first heard about Elizabeth Is Missing, a new television film on PBS' Masterpiece channel that stars Glenda Jackson as a woman battling dementia. Even when a hyper-critical London friend told me I should watch, I remember thinking, "Sure, if I live to be a million." But somehow I wound up with time on my hands, and guess what? Elizabeth Is Missing was not what I feared. Based on a novel by Emma Healey, this BBC production is a strangely cockeyed psychological thriller — a Disease of the Week movie crossed with Memento.


Glenda Jackson On Playing King Lear: Gender Barriers 'Crack' With Age

Jackson plays Maud, a proud woman whose grasp of reality is slipping away — post-it notes line her walls and pockets to remind her of everything. If she feels bound to anyone, it's her friend Elizabeth, with whom she likes to garden.

One day, Elizabeth doesn't turn up for their meeting at the local thrift shop, and Maud is beside herself. Elizabeth has vanished — yet no one else seems fussed by this. Not Maud's beleaguered daughter, Helen, who looks after her mum and gets little kindness in return. Not the local police. Not even Elizabeth's son, whose dark nature scared his mother.

As Maud tries to trace Elizabeth's movements, she plunges down the rabbit hole of memory. She keeps recalling — no, make that reliving — the great trauma of her teenage years: the unexplained disappearance of her stylish older sister, Sukey.

As these time periods merge in her head, Maud must solve two mysteries: What happened to Sukey decades ago and what has happened to Elizabeth now? Meanwhile, she keeps forgetting the basic facts of everyday life — and then pretending she hasn't.

When you're young you can play Hamlet or Hedda Gabler or Blanche DuBois, but aside from King Lear — whom Jackson actually played on stage in 2019 — most roles for the old aren't very juicy or challenging. But playing a character with dementia is. You get to inhabit blurring layers of consciousness, get to slide from warmth to abusiveness to humor at warp speed, and get to register how it feels to have reality suddenly drop away beneath you like a trap door.

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Jackson's performance, which has already won the International Emmy and a BAFTA award, elevates the film. With her trudging walk and features that veer between slack confusion and ferocious certainty — flinty impatience is a Jackson trademark — her Maud has none of the decorous radiance that Julie Christie and Julianne Moore brought when they were playing characters with dementia. Instead, like Anthony Hopkins' scorching turn in the upcoming film The Father, the 84-year-old actor gives us a lost soul who, in trying to stay afloat in reality, becomes an exhausting, sometimes cruel burden. Both victim and victimizer, Maud hurts her daughter and everyone else who loves her.

What stops the show from being punishing is that Maud's dementia isn't the only story. Elizabeth Is Missing doesn't wallow in misery. Approaching dementia on the angle, it lets us see Maud's unlikely heroism as she struggles against her own declining faculties to find out the truth. It keeps us guessing about the fate of the missing women who haunt Maud's mind, and it makes us wonder if everything will tie together in the end.

The whole story does tie together — in truth, far too neatly. Yet I didn't mind, for such closure feels positively merciful. You see, the great thing about a mystery story is that you can solve its puzzle. With dementia, there's no solution.


Alex Haley was born in Ithaca, New York, on August 11, 1921, and was the eldest of three brothers (the other two being George and Julius) and a half-sister (from his father's second marriage). Haley lived with his family in Henning, Tennessee, before returning to Ithaca with his family when he was five years old. Haley's father was Simon Haley, a professor of agriculture at Alabama A&M University, and his mother was Bertha George Haley (née Palmer), who had grown up in Henning. The family had Mandinka, other African, Cherokee, Scottish, and Scottish-Irish roots. [7] [8] [9] [10] The younger Haley always spoke proudly of his father and the obstacles of racism he had overcome.

Like his father, Alex Haley was enrolled at age 15 in Alcorn State University, a historically black college in Mississippi and, a year later, enrolled at Elizabeth City State College, also historically black, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The following year, he withdrew from college. His father felt that Alex needed discipline and growth, and convinced him to enlist in the military when he turned 18. On May 24, 1939, Alex Haley began what became a 20-year career in the United States Coast Guard. [11]

Haley traced back his maternal ancestry, through genealogical research, to Jufureh, in The Gambia. [12]

Haley enlisted as a mess attendant. Later he was promoted to the rate of petty officer third-class in the rating of steward, one of the few ratings open to blacks at that time. [13] It was during his service in the Pacific theater of operations that Haley taught himself the craft of writing stories. During his enlistment other sailors often paid him to write love letters to their girlfriends. He said that the greatest enemy he and his crew faced during their long voyages was not the Japanese forces but rather boredom. [11]

After World War II, Haley petitioned the U.S. Coast Guard to allow him to transfer into the field of journalism. By 1949 he had become a petty officer first-class in the rating of journalist. He later advanced to chief petty officer and held this rank until his retirement from the Coast Guard in 1959. He was the first chief journalist in the Coast Guard, the rating having been expressly created for him in recognition of his literary ability. [11]

After retiring from the U.S. Coast Guard, Haley began another phase of his journalism career. He eventually became a senior editor for Reader's Digest magazine. Haley wrote an article for the magazine about his brother George's struggles to succeed as one of the first black students at a Southern law school.

Playboy magazine Edit

Haley conducted the first interview for Playboy magazine. Haley elicited candid comments from jazz musician Miles Davis about his thoughts and feelings on racism in an interview he had started, but not finished, for Show Business Illustrated, another magazine created by Playboy founder Hugh Hefner that folded in early 1962. Haley completed the interview and it appeared in Playboy's September 1962 issue. [14] That interview set the tone for what became a significant feature of the magazine. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Playboy Interview with Haley was the longest he ever granted to any publication. [15]

Throughout the 1960s Haley was responsible for some of the magazine's most notable interviews, including one with George Lincoln Rockwell, leader of the American Nazi Party. He agreed to meet with Haley only after gaining assurance from the writer that he was not Jewish. Haley remained professional during the interview, although Rockwell kept a handgun on the table throughout it. (The interview was recreated in Roots: The Next Generations, with James Earl Jones as Haley and Marlon Brando as Rockwell.) [16] Haley also interviewed Muhammad Ali, who spoke about changing his name from Cassius Clay. Other interviews include Jack Ruby's defense attorney Melvin Belli, entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr., football player Jim Brown, TV host Johnny Carson, and music producer Quincy Jones.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X Edit

The Autobiography of Malcolm X, published in 1965, was Haley's first book. [17] It describes the trajectory of Malcolm X's life from street criminal to national spokesman for the Nation of Islam to his conversion to Sunni Islam. It also outlines Malcolm X's philosophy of black pride, black nationalism, and pan-Africanism. Haley wrote an epilogue to the book summarizing the end of Malcolm X's life, including his assassination in New York's Audubon Ballroom.

Haley ghostwrote The Autobiography of Malcolm X based on more than 50 in-depth interviews he conducted with Malcolm X between 1963 and Malcolm X's February 1965 assassination. [18] The two men had first met in 1960 when Haley wrote an article about the Nation of Islam for Reader's Digest. They met again when Haley interviewed Malcolm X for Playboy. [18]

The initial interviews for the autobiography frustrated Haley. Rather than discussing his own life, Malcolm X spoke about Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam he became angry about Haley's reminders that the book was supposed to be about Malcolm X. After several meetings, Haley asked Malcolm X to tell him something about his mother. That question drew Malcolm X into recounting his life story. [18] [19]

The Autobiography of Malcolm X has been a consistent best-seller since its 1965 publication. [20] The New York Times reported that six million copies of the book had sold by 1977. [5] In 1998 Time ranked The Autobiography of Malcolm X as one of the 10 most influential nonfiction books of the 20th century. [21]

In 1966 Haley received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for The Autobiography of Malcolm X. [22]

Super Fly T.N.T. Edit

In 1973 Haley wrote his only screenplay, Super Fly T.N.T.. The film starred and was directed by Ron O'Neal.

Roots Edit

In 1976 Haley published Roots: The Saga of an American Family, a novel based on his family's history, going back to slavery days. It started with the story of Kunta Kinte, who was kidnapped in the Gambia in 1767 and transported to the Province of Maryland to be sold as a slave. Haley claimed to be a seventh-generation descendant of Kunta Kinte, and his work on the novel involved twelve years of research, intercontinental travel, and writing. He went to the village of Juffure, where Kunta Kinte grew up and listened to a tribal historian (griot) tell the story of Kinte's capture. [1] Haley also traced the records of the ship, The Lord Ligonier, which he said carried his ancestor to the Americas. [23]

Haley stated that the most emotional moment of his life occurred on September 29, 1967, when he stood at the site in Annapolis, Maryland, where his ancestor had arrived from Africa in chains exactly 200 years before. A memorial depicting Haley reading a story to young children gathered at his feet has since been erected in the center of Annapolis. [24]

Roots was eventually published in 37 languages. Haley won a special Pulitzer Prize for the work in 1977. [25] The same year, Roots was adapted as a popular television miniseries of the same name by ABC. The serial reached a record-breaking 130 million viewers. Roots emphasized that black Americans have a long history and that not all of that history is necessarily lost, as many believed. Its popularity also sparked a greatly increased public interest in genealogy. [1] [3]

In 1979 ABC aired the sequel miniseries, Roots: The Next Generations, which continued the story of Kunta Kinte's descendants. It concluded with Haley's travel to Juffure. Haley was portrayed at different ages by Kristoff St. John, The Jeffersons actor Damon Evans, and Tony Award winner James Earl Jones. In 2016, History aired a remake of the original miniseries. Haley appeared briefly, portrayed by Tony Award winner Laurence Fishburne.

Haley was briefly a "writer in residence" at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he began work on Roots. He enjoyed spending time at a local bistro called the Savoy in nearby Rome, where he would sometimes pass the time listening to the piano player. Today, there is a special table in honor of Haley at the Savoy, and a painting of Haley writing Roots on a yellow legal tablet.

Plagiarism lawsuits and other criticism Edit

Roots faced two lawsuits that charged plagiarism and copyright infringement. The lawsuit brought by Margaret Walker was dismissed, but Harold Courlander's suit was successful. Courlander's novel The African describes an African boy who is captured by slave traders, follows him across the Atlantic on a slave ship, and describes his attempts to hold on to his African traditions on a plantation in America. Haley admitted that some passages from The African had made it into Roots, settling the case out of court in 1978 and paying Courlander $650,000. [26] [27]

Genealogists have also disputed Haley's research and conclusions in Roots. The Gambian griot turned out not to be a real griot, and the story of Kunta Kinte appears to have been a case of circular reporting, in which Haley's own words were repeated back to him. [28] [29] None of the written records in Virginia and North Carolina line up with the Roots story until after the Civil War. Some elements of Haley's family story can be found in the written records, but the most likely genealogy would be different from the one described in Roots. [30]

Haley and his work have been excluded from the Norton Anthology of African-American Literature, despite his status as the United States' best-selling black author. Harvard University professor Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., one of the anthology's general editors, has denied that the controversies surrounding Haley's works are the reason for this exclusion. In 1998, Dr. Gates acknowledged the doubts surrounding Haley's claims about Roots, saying, "Most of us feel it's highly unlikely that Alex actually found the village whence his ancestors sprang. Roots is a work of the imagination rather than strict historical scholarship." [31]

Early in the 1980s, Haley worked with the Walt Disney Company to develop an Equatorial Africa pavilion for its Epcot Center theme park. Haley appeared on a CBS broadcast of Epcot Center's opening day celebration, discussing the plans and exhibiting concept art with host Danny Kaye. Ultimately, the pavilion was not built due to political and financial issues. [32]

Late in the 1970s, Haley had begun working on a second historical novel based on another branch of his family, traced through his grandmother Queen she was the daughter of a black slave woman and her white master. He did not finish the novel before dying in Seattle, Washington, of a heart attack. He was buried beside his childhood home in Henning, Tennessee. At his request, the novel was finished by David Stevens and was published as Alex Haley's Queen. It was subsequently adapted as a miniseries of the same name in 1993.

Late in Haley's life he had acquired a small farm in Clinton, Tennessee, although at the time it had a Norris, Tennessee address. The farm is a few miles from the Museum of Appalachia, and Haley lived there until his death. After he died, the property was sold to the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), which calls it the Alex Haley Farm. The nonprofit organization uses the farm as a national training center and retreat site. An abandoned barn on the farm property was rebuilt as a traditional cantilevered barn, using a design by architect Maya Lin. The building now serves as a library for the CDF. [33]

  • In 1977 Haley received the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP, for his exhaustive research and literary skill combined in Roots. [34]
  • In 1977, Haley received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. [35][36]
  • The food-service building at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center, Petaluma, California, was named Haley Hall in honor of the author.
  • In 1999 the Coast Guard honored Haley by naming the cutterUSCGC Alex Haley after him. [37]
  • The U.S. Coast Guard annually awards the Chief Journalist Alex Haley Award, which is named in honor of the writer as the Coast Guard's first chief journalist (the first Coast Guardsman in the rating of journalist to be advanced to the rate of chief petty officer). It rewards individual authors and photographers who have had articles or photographs communicating the Coast Guard story published in internal newsletters or external publications. [38]
  • In 2002 the Republic of Korea (South Korea) posthumously awarded Haley its Korean War Service Medal (created in 1951), which the U.S. government did not allow its service members to accept until 1999. [39][40]
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965), biography
  • Super Fly T.N.T. (1973), screenplay
  • Roots: The Saga of an American Family (1976), novel
  • Alex Haley Tells the Story of His Search for Roots (1977) – 2-LP recording of a two-hour lecture
  • Palmerstown, U.S.A. (1980-1981), TV series
  • A Different Kind of Christmas (1988), stories
  • Alex Haley's Queen: The Story of an American Family (1992), novel
  • Alex Haley: The Playboy Interviews (1993), collection
  • Never Turn Back: Father Serra's Mission (Stories of America) (1993), editor, stories
  • Mama Flora's Family (1998), novel

Collection of Alex Haley's personal works Edit

The University of Tennessee Libraries, in Knoxville, Tennessee, maintains a collection of Alex Haley's personal works in its Special Collections Department. The works contain notes, outlines, bibliographies, research, and legal papers documenting Haley's Roots through 1977. Of particular interest are the items showing Harold Courlander's lawsuit against Haley, Doubleday & Company, and various affiliated groups. [41] Portions of Alex Haley's personal collection is also located at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center's Special Collections and Archives in Fort Lauderdale, FL. [42] The keeper of the Word Foundation in Detroit, Michigan maintains Alex Haley's Coast Guard notes, writings, and love letter notes that developed Haley's writings. Along with the digital unpublished Autobiography of Malcolm X and Epilogue, omitted introduction and chapters, outline, letters, handwritten notes, Haley's complete interviews of Malcolm X's, poetry and edited notes, and digital rights. [ citation needed ]

Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial Edit

In the city dock section of Annapolis, Maryland, there is a memorial to mark the arrival location of Kunta Kinte in 1767. The monument, dedicated on June 12, 2002, also celebrates the preservation of African-American heritage and family history. [43]

Glenda Jackson discusses the drama on the MASTERPIECE Studio podcast.

Returning to television for the first time in nearly three decades, two-time Academy Award®–winner Glenda Jackson stars as a woman desperately trying to solve two mysteries as she declines ever deeper into dementia, in Elizabeth Is Missing, an adaptation of Emma Healey’s acclaimed novel.

Playing feisty grandmother Maud Horsham, who lives alone despite early-stage Alzheimer’s, Jackson is joined by Maggie Steed as Maud’s only friend, Elizabeth, who ominously goes missing, leading to one of the mysteries at the heart of the drama. Helen Behan plays Maud’s dutiful daughter, Helen, and Nell Williams is Maud’s doting granddaughter, Katy.

Jackson astounded critics during the UK broadcast of Elizabeth Is Missing in late 2019. “Glenda Jackson shines in this heartrending whodunnit” (The Guardian) “Jackson gave one of the performances of her lifetime” (The Daily Telegraph) “Jackson is remarkable” (The Independent) “a devastatingly real performance” (The Times) “brilliant” (Radio Times).


Donald Healey and Nash-Kelvinator CEO George W. Mason met on the RMS Queen Elizabeth, an ocean liner going from the United States to Great Britain. Healey was returning to England after a failed attempt to purchase engines from General Motors' luxury Cadillac division. [3] His objective was to expand production of the Healey Silverstone that race car driver Briggs Cunningham had customized with Cadillac's new 1949 overhead-valve V8 engine. [4] Mason and Healey met over dinner and a production plan ensued during the remainder of the voyage. The two became friends because they were both interested in photography. Mason had a stereo (3-D) camera that intrigued Healey. [5]

The 1951 Nash-Healey was the first post-war sports car from a major American automaker, two years ahead of the Chevrolet Corvette. [6] The custom-built Kurtis-Kraft which predated it never reached "production car" status, with only 18 units being built. [7] [6]

A prototype was exhibited at the Paris Motor Show in September 1950. The production model debuted at the February 1951 Chicago Auto Show, [8] followed that month by the Miami Auto Show. [7] Also classified as a grand tourer for its luxury appointments, extreme price, and upper tier market positioning, it was sporty enough to be campaigned in several racing circuits. [9] [10] [11]

1951 Edit

Nash Motors supplied the Donald Healey Motor Company with the powertrain components: the Ambassador's inline six-cylinder OHV 234.8 cu in (3.85 L) engine and three-speed manual transmission with Borg-Warner overdrive, plus torque tube and differential. Healey fitted a lighter, higher-compression aluminum cylinder head (in place of the cast-iron stock item) with twin 1.75-inch (44 mm) SU carburetors that were popular on British sports cars at the time. This increased power from the stock 112 hp (84 kW 114 PS) version to 125 hp (93 kW 127 PS). Compared to other contemporary British sports cars, the Nash-Healey's engine was long, heavy, and bulky. [12] However, Donald Healey's original plan was to use an even heavier 331 cu in (5.4 L) Cadillac V8 engine and the car was designed with an engine bay that allowed a few later owners to convert their cars to V8 power. [13]

The chassis was a widened and reinforced Healey Silverstone [14] box-section ladder-type steel frame. Independent front suspension, also Healey Silverstone, was by coil springs, trailing link, and a sway bar. The rear suspension featured Nash's rear end and coil springs replaced the Silverstone's leaf springs, while the beam axle was located by Panhard rod.

Healey designed the aluminum body, but it was outsourced. Panelcraft Sheet Metal of Birmingham fabricated the body. [8] It incorporated a Nash grille, bumpers, and other trim. [15] Healey was responsible for the car's final assembly.

The car had drum brakes all around. Wheels were steel, dressed up with full-diameter chrome hubcaps and 4-ply 6.40×15-inch whitewall tires. The interior featured luxurious leather upholstery, foam rubber cushions, an adjustable steering wheel, and a cigarette lighter. Completed vehicles were shipped to the United States for sale through the Nash dealership network.

Donald Healey gave the first example to Petula Clark, [8] with the registration number PET 1. [ clarification needed ] The only colors available were "Champagne Ivory" and "Sunset Maroon", and the suggested retail price (MSRP) of US$3,767 F.O.B. New York City proved uncompetitive. [16]

1952 Edit

For 1952, Nash commissioned Italian designer Pininfarina to revise Healey's original body design. One objective was to make the sports car more similar to the rest of Nash's models. The front received a new grille incorporating inboard headlights. The sides gained distinct fender character lines ending with small tailfins in the rear. A curved windshield replaced the previous two-piece flat windshield. The restyled car appeared at that year's Chicago Auto Show. [17] Reflecting its role as a halo car, the Nash Ambassador and Statesman models adopted a Nash-Healey-inspired grille with inboard headlights for 1955, and advertising featured the new Nash with a Nash-Healey in the background to show the obvious similarity.

Pininfarina in Turin built the bodies which, save for aluminum hood, trunk lid and dashboard, became all steel. [18] The aluminum panels, plus careful engineering, reduced curb weight. [19] The Nash engine was enlarged to 252 cu in (4.1 L), producing 140 hp (104 kW 142 PS) with American-made twin Carter Carburetors .

Shipping costs were considerable: From Kenosha, Wisconsin the Nash engines and drivetrains went to England for installation in the Healey-fabricated frames. Healey then sent the rolling chassis to Italy, where Pininfarina's craftsmen fashioned the bodywork and assembled the finished product. They were then exported to the U.S., with the car's complicated logistical process resulting in a $5,908 sticker price in 1953, approaching double the new Chevrolet Corvette's $3,513. [20]

1953 Edit

The 1953 model year saw the introduction of a new closed coupé [21] alongside the roadster (now termed a "convertible"). Capitalizing on the 3rd-place finish at Le Mans by a lightweight racing Nash-Healey purpose-built for the race (see below), the new model was called the "Le Mans" coupé. [22] Nash had already named the powerplant the "Le-Mans Dual Jetfire Ambassador Six" in 1952, in reference to the previous racing exploits of the lightweight competition cars. [19]

Some describe the new design as "magnificent". [23] Some "people didn't take to the inboard headlights". [24] This headlight mounting was described as "Safety-Vu" concentrating illumination, and their low position increased safety under foggy conditions. The 1953 "Le Mans" model was awarded first prize in March of that year in the Italian International Concours d'Elegance held at Stresa, Italy. [25]

Leveraging the popularity of golf to promote their cars, Nash Motors and Nash dealers sponsored what the automaker described as "more than 20 major golf tournaments across the country" in 1953, and golfer Sam Snead was shown with his Nash-Healey roadster on the cover of the June 1953 issue of Nash News. [26] [27]

Product placement was another marketing strategy. A roadster owned by Dick Powell was driven by George Reeves, as Clark Kent, in four TV episodes of the Adventures of Superman. [28] [29] Another roadster appears in the 1954 film Sabrina starring Humphrey Bogart, William Holden, and Audrey Hepburn . [30]

1954 Edit

Nash Motors became a division of American Motors Corporation (AMC) that was formed as a result of a merger with Hudson Motor Car Company on 1 May 1954. Nash was faced with limited resources for marketing, promotion, and further development of this niche market car in comparison to its volume models. [31] By this time AMC knew that a similar luxurious two-seat Ford Thunderbird with V8 power was being planned. In light of the low sales for the preceding years, Nash delayed the introduction of the 1954 models until 3 June and discontinued the convertible, leaving just a slightly reworked "Le Mans" coupé, distinguished by a reverse slanted "C" pillar and a three-piece rear window instead of the previous one-piece glass.

Healey was focusing on its new Austin-Healey 100, "and the Nash-Healey had to be abandoned." [32] Although the international shipping charges were a significant cost factor, Nash cut the POE (port of entry) price by more than $1,200 to $5,128. Production ceased in August. A few leftover 1954s were sold as 1955 models. [33]

Panamericana pace car Edit

A Nash-Healey served as the course car for the 1951 Carrera Panamericana, described as one of the most dangerous automobile race of any type in the world. Driven by Chuck Stevenson, the Nash-Healey ran ahead of the racers to ensure the way was clear on "the world's greatest road race". [34]

Endurance racers Edit

To create a racing pedigree for the marque Donald Healey built four lightweight Nash-Healeys for endurance racing [35] Like the road cars, they had Nash Ambassador engines and drivelines. However, fitting higher-compression aluminum cylinder heads, special manifolds, and twin SU carburetors increased their power to 200 hp (149 kW 203 PS). The cars had spartan, lightweight aluminum racing bodies. Three open versions were built, and one coupe. These cars competed in four consecutive Le Mans races and one Mille Miglia.

1950 Le Mans Edit

Tony Rolt and Duncan Hamilton debuted the prototype at Le Mans in 1950. It was the first-ever Le Mans entry to have an overdrive transmission. Not only was the car one of the 29 finishers from the field of 66, [36] but also finished in fourth place. This outstanding achievement sealed Healey's contract with Nash for a limited production run of the road cars. [37] Roger Menadue, head of Healey's experimental department, played a significant role in the success: He filed slots in the backplates of the brakes and extended the adjusting mechanism to a small exterior lever. Thus in a matter of seconds, he could adjust the brakes during pit stops without jacking the car up—an innovation that was said to save as much as half an hour at each stop. [38]

1951 Le Mans Edit

In the 1951 Le Mans race Rolt and Hamilton (who would win two years later in a Jaguar C-Type) took fourth in class and sixth overall behind a Jaguar, two Talbot-Lagos and two Aston Martins. They finished immediately ahead of two Ferraris and another Aston Martin. [39]

1952 Le Mans Edit

In the 1952 Le Mans race, when only 17 of the 58 starters finished, the entry driven by Leslie Johnson—a driver with the flair of Nuvolari, said Louis Chiron—and motoring journalist Tommy Wisdom [40] took third overall behind two factory-entered Mercedes-Benz 300SLs also first in class, ahead of Chinetti's Ferrari, and second in the Rudge-Whitworth Cup for the best performance over two consecutive years. In addition, they won the Motor Gold Challenge Cup. The drivers said the car was more nimble through the corners than its more exotic competitors. It delivered 13 mpg‑US (18 L/100 km 16 mpg‑imp) and the engine needed no oil or water during the entire 24 hours. [41] The car had been built from scratch in a fortnight, Menadue and his assistant Jock Reid fabricating the body in less than a week, by eye, without any drawings. Healey said: "That's an ugly bugger, isn't it, Roger?" [38]

1952 Mille Miglia Edit

The same year, Johnson raced the car in the Mille Miglia, the thousand-mile Italian road race that would be banned as too dangerous five years later. Daily Telegraph motoring correspondent Bill McKenzie rode as passenger. [42] They finished a creditable seventh overall to Bracco's winning works team Ferrari, the works Mercedes-Benz 300SLs of Kling and Caracciola, and three works Lancias [43] they also took fourth in class. The coupe driven by Donald Healey and his son Geoffrey crashed out. [41]

1953 Le Mans Edit

For the 1953 Le Mans race the factory partnered Johnson with Bert Hadley in one of two cars with redesigned bodies. Johnson started from 27th place. Although he and Hadley advanced steadily up the race order they were 11th at the finish, 39 laps behind the winning Jaguar, despite an average speed of 92.45 miles per hour (148.78 km/h)—higher than the previous year's run to third place. [22] However, they beat both of Donald Healey's new Austin-Healey 100s. The second Nash-Healey of Veyron and Giraud-Cabantous retired after nine laps.

This concluded the factory's race program with the lightweight competition cars. The 1952 Le Mans/Mille Miglia car passed into private ownership and raced in America. [44]

Legacy Edit

American Motors continued to offer halo and performance models after the discontinuation of the Nash-Healey as well as marketing foreign-assembled niche-market, the two-passenger sub-compact Metropolitan.

In 1956, American Motors introduced its first V8 engine, a 250 cu in (4.1 L), overhead-valve engine with a forged crankshaft, which produced 190 hp (142 kW 193 PS) when equipped with the standard 2-barrel carburetor. In 1957, AMC bored - from 3.5 to 4 in (89 to 102 mm) - its new V8 to 327 cu in (5.4 L) and used it in the last year of AMC's luxury offerings, the Nash Ambassador, and Hudson Hornet. This engine was also featured in the all-new "compact" Rambler Rebel, with mechanical valve lifters and rated at 255 hp (190 kW 259 PS) with a 4-barrel carburetor and 288 hp (215 kW 292 PS) with the optional Bendix Electric fuel-injection system. A fuel-injected Rambler Rebel was entered in the Pure Oil Daytona competition but this version never entered regular production due to driveability issues. Nonetheless, the Rambler Rebel is credited for being the first factory-produced muscle car, and as quicker than the Chrysler 300B, Dodge D500, Desoto Adventurer, and all other American sedans in 1957. The only car quicker was the 4-speed manual, small-block, 283 cu in (4.6 L) fuel-injected Chevrolet Corvette.

The 327 V8 would have been quite an addition to the Nash Healey. The Automobile Manufacturers Association eventually instituted limits on automakers sponsorship of activities that glamorize speed and performance in 1957. [45] American Motors observed both the letter and spirit of AMA's resolution, avoided the auto industry's horsepower race by offering ever more powerful engines. [46] In 1964, American Motors even adopted the advertising slogan, "Why don't we enter high-performance Rambler V-8s in racing? Because the only race Rambler cares about is the human race!" [47] [48] The automaker focused on its successful compact Rambler American line, midsize Rambler, and luxury oriented Ambassador.

American Motors would not have a truly sporty car until the 1965 Rambler Marlin fastback. For 1968, AMC introduced out the 4-seater Javelin, and the 2-seat AMX. The Penske Javelins dominated the Trans Am series, defeating the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Plymouth Barracuda, and other pony cars.

All 1951 Nash-Healeys were British-built. Bodies were crafted at Panelcraft Sheet Metal and final assembly was completed at the Healey factory in Warwick. The 1952 through 1954 models were built in Italy by Pinin Farina.

Nash-Healey production numbers
1951 104
1952 150
1953 162
1954 90
Total 506

The Nash-Healey registry has a total of 520 entries including prototypes and race vehicles. [49]

15 Painless Facts About Road House

Two years after Dirty Dancing and one year before Ghost, Patrick Swayze played a bouncer with a Ph.D in philosophy in 1989’s Road House. The film's producer, Joel Silver, predicted it would become “the best drive-in movie ever made.” But after many cable airings, it has instead become the quintessential “so bad it’s good” cinematic experience. Here are 15 things you might not know about Road House.


Kelly Lynch, who played Dr. Elizabeth Clay (a.k.a. "Doc") wasn't the producers' first choice. In an interview with The A.V. Club, Lynch shared that Annette Bening had originally been cast, "but she was fired. Patrick just didn’t feel any chemistry with her or something."


Though the film is set in Jasper, Missouri, it was shot in California. The crew was forced to make the Double Deuce look more like a dive bar on the orders of Joel Silver, who thought it looked “too nice.”


A pickup truck containing a group of middle-aged blonde women attempted to drive right up to the star’s trailer to meet the actor. During the big fight by the river, a raft of Swayze-loving ladies sailed by. A female extra playing a waitress was too busy staring at Swayze to watch where she was going and tripped, spilling all of her drinks on another extra.


He referred to his hair in the movie as the “bane of my existence.”


After the five-day long shoot fighting Marshall Teague’s Jimmy, Swayze needed 2.5 ounces of fluid drained from his left knee. He apparently had been suffering through knee problems before, needing a similar procedure during production on Dirty Dancing.


Red West, who played Red Webster, the auto parts store owner, went to high school with The King, and was a member of his “Memphis Mafia.” West was a songwriter who acted in some of Elvis’ movies and also worked as a stuntman. Also featured in Road House is The Jeff Healey Band, led by Jeff Healey, who went blind at the age of one and began playing guitar at the age of three in 2008, he died of cancer at the age of 41. John Doe, founder and bass player of the band X, played the bartender who was bad at skimming.


"You hear all that bullsh** about 'It’s all stunt doubles' and all that sh**. Well, it isn’t," Sam Elliott told The A.V. Club. "All the actors, as far as I know, did their own fighting. I f**king got the sh** kicked out of me for the entire film." They were all trained by Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, a holder of nine black belts in nine different disciplines. Urquidez believed so much in Patrick Swayze's abilities that he suggested to him that he should become a competitive kickboxer.


The movie's humor is somewhat intentional director Rowdy Herrington said he wanted to make the fights “like a Keystone Cops melee.”



Whenever Bill, Joel, Brian Doyle, and/or John Murray see that Road House is on, they call screenwriter Mitch Glazer to tell him that his wife is having sex with Swayze. In one instance, Bill informed Glazer, who co-wrote Scrooged, long distance from Russia.


. She was upset about the apparent waste of time researching her role in an emergency room for one month.


Though he has nearly 90 credits to his name, in 2007 Elliott told Collider that he's most recognized from Road House. Earlier this year, he admitted to Vulture that he “wasn’t so good” in the film. Joel Silver cast him due to his “baggage.”


They thought that MGM studios was burning down. It cost $25,000 to shoot that scene.

Elizabeth Healey and Jacob Beck

Elizabeth Healey and Jacob Beck (Emory's Grandparents)

Elizabeth Healey, second child of James and Mary Carlisle Healey, was born August 15, 1858 at Alpine, Utah County, Utah. Her birthplace, where she also spent her childhood was a log cabin with a dirt roof, located on a corner one block north of the church.

As one of the oldest children in a large family, Elizabeth faced heavy responsibilities early in life. While she was yet a young child she worked at milking and herding cows and tending chickens for a neighbor, Kitty Nash, in order to assist her family.

She had little opportunity for schooling, but she learned to read and enjoyed it throughout her life. She possessed a naturally sweet singing voice, which was a delight to all who knew her. A small woman, she was blessed with excellent health. She had a quiet and patient disposition.

When she was in her teens she went to Salt Lake City to work for a polygamous family. When she returned to Alpine, about the age of twenty, she was hired by Mrs. Nash, but this time as a cook in a sawmill in American Fork Canyon. Here she met Jacob Beck who was hauling ore from the mines there.

Jacob Stephenson Beck, son of Stephen Jensen and Kerstine Jacobson Beck, was born in Thorup, Denmark, July 20, 1848, the eldest son in a family of five. He and his parents were baptized in to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the same day, February 26, 1857, when Jacob was nine years old. They had walked four miles in deep snow. Ice had to be cut so they could be immersed in the water.

Five years later they sailed as steerage passengers on the ship “Franklin” with six hundred others. It took six weeks to reach America. They traveled by train to Florence, Nebraska, where they fitted out for their trek across the plains. They left July 14, 1862, under Captain Christian A. Madsen and the Ole N. Lillenquist Company. They arrived in the Salt Lake valley September 23, 1862, Jacob having covered the entire distance on foot.

They lived two years in Lehi, Utah County, then moved north to Alpine. There was great need in the family. The boys hired out, often making only food and lodging in return for their work.
Jacob went to work in Brigham City. For a full summer’s labor he was paid one old sheep, a shotgun, and five gallons of molasses. Half the molasses went to pay his transportation back to Lehi.

After the family moved to Alpine, Jacob made his home with Bishop McCullough, who had no children of his own, until he was about nineteen. Then he was the stage keeper between Salt Lake City and Wyoming for two years. He purchased his own team and wagon and began hauling ore.

Elizabeth and Jacob were married October 2, 1878. They went to live in a two-room adobe home, which had been built for them by Jacob’s father, a carpenter, and his Uncle Frederick, a mason. This home and an adobe granary are still standing, so well were they constructed.

This home was where their fifteen children were to be born. It was located on a 160-acre homestead on what was then known as American Fork Bench (now Highland).
As soon as the newlyweds arrived on the homestead they began to clear the sagebrush for what was to become literally an empire. Other buildings were added to house their livestock. More and more crops and animals were added until the Beck Ranch became one of those selected for study by students from the Utah State Agricultural College in Logan. They would arrive by train to study the latest methods. Mr. Beck was the biggest cattle raiser in Utah County at one time, and his ranch furnished a ready market for all the feed that could be grown in the area. He invested in the Chipman Mercantile Company and other intuitions of the area, and was acclaimed by many of the farmers to have saved many of them from financial failure.

With fifteen children eventually arriving to bless their home, and as the ranch enlarged and many hired hands needed to be boarded, the home was enlarged to include ten rooms and two cellars. Several fine orchards grew about the home as young trees were planted.

Some years after crops had been put in there would not be a harvest for lack of water, and the father would then work in the mining camps in Nevada, Bingham, and Park City. Elizabeth would care for the stock and milk the cows, having everything ready for shipment when Jacob arrived home in the spring. Later another eighty acres were added to the homestead, making two hundred forty in all. More water rights were purchased and additional grazing rights were acquired in the Wasatch Mountains. They had a winter ranch at Goshen, south of Utah Lake, and they later extended their beef cattle business into the Gunnison valley.

Two homes were built on the original homestead for married sons who were assisting with the work. A corporation know as the Beck Land and Livestock Company was formed with Jacob and his four sons, Reed, Floyd, Stephen F., and Vern. This operated successfully until the father’s death, when a depression hit the industry forcing the brothers to sell their interests and dissolve the corporation.

In 1912 Elizabeth and Jacob retired from the ranch and purchased a home on Main Street in American Fork. Here the father continued to assist the sons with planning, selling, and buying. He had taken an active part in church affairs, and when Elizabeth was tied at home with the many children, it was he who took them to church in Alpine. He had been a stake missionary and was a member of the high priest quorum at the time of his death.

Elizabeth, relieved now of the heavy work of caring for the farm and the helper, as well as her family, now busied herself with entertaining all who came to visit. She had always worked hand in hand with her husband and often did things beyond her strength rather than have “Jake” wait upon her. In her new home she had a little leisure, which she spent in doing many types of needlework, crocheting and knitting. She pieced many quilts and was generous with the things she made. She had always found pleasure in her work as seamstress for the family. She enjoyed good books and did all she could to study and learn of the finer things. She loved church work and at one time was a member of the Alpine Ward choir.

Although prosperity followed the hard work of Elizabeth and Jacob through the years, they were not without sadness, for six of their children were to die without reaching maturity. Their third child and first son, Joseph Raymond, lived only one year, dying of brain fever. Their tenth child, Martha Irene, lived only three weeks. Alice Maud and Vera Eliza died within a few days of each other of diphtheria. This was an especially trying time for the parents, as they were not allowed to even hold funeral services for them, so great was the epidemic. The town constable buried them and all the family had left were memories.

For a while after those things seemed to go well as the children totaled to fourteen. Then the baby, Daniel Lyman, died when less than four months old, and two years later they lost Cora Rowena, they’re thirteenth, at the age of five years of typhoid. The long, constant nursing by the mother had been of no avail as the child wasted away.

At first the Alpine cemetery, where the children were buried, was just a hill of dust and weeds, but in later years the family built a retaining wall around the little graves, and markers were placed there, largely due to the efforts of their brother, Stephen F.

Elizabeth was forty-five when her last child, Golda, was born. After they had moved to American Fork, Elizabeth and Jacob went to the Salt Lake Temple and were sealed with their children in 1915. In 1921 Elizabeth was saddened by the death of her husband. Lonesome after the almost furious years of activity on the ranch, she continued with her life of service as she visited her children’s families, doing all she could to assist them. She was on a visit to Amanda in Oakley, Idaho, when she was stricken with pneumonia and died November 19, 1926, at the age of sixty-eight. She was buried beside her husband in the American Fork cemetery.

Although Elizabeth was saddened deeply each time death took one of her children, she never complained, nor did she lose faith. After the death of Cora, just before Christmas in 1894, she told the other children, “You must enjoy your Christmas, for the Lord will take care of our little Cora.” This was typical of her consideration of others which she practiced even to the extent of scraping the supper dishes with a piece of bread so she would not disturb her sleeping tired husband. She always encouraged the family in faith and good works, although it was many years that ties at home prevented her from attending meetings with them.

Jacob and Elizabeth encouraged each of their children to obtain a good education. They bought the first piano in the area and furnished them with all the advantages and luxuries they had missed in their own youths.

They were the parents of the following children: Miriam Josephine, Mary Blanche, Jacob Raymond, Alice Maude, Elizabeth Amanda, James Vern, Stephen Feramorz, Vera Eliza, Laura Winifred, Martha Irene, Floyd Richard, Reed Fields, Cora Rowena, Daniel Lyman, and Golda Lyman.

Elizabeth Is Missing review – Emma Healey's dementia detective story

A novel narrated by an 82-year-old woman with dementia who is searching the neighbourhood for an elderly friend is an unusual choice of subject for a young writer. It could have been grim reading, but Emma Healey has a gift for the kind of dark comedy that can shine through any predicament. There are two timelines woven together: the Elizabeth mystery and the unsolved disappearance of Maud's sister 70 years before. They weave together, mostly successfully, and prove in the end to be connected, via a coincidence that's pleasing, if a little convenient.

The use of Maud as a narrator is at once brilliant and unconvincing. She may behave like a woman with vascular dementia, but expresses herself in her internal voice exactly like a novelist, in beautiful sentences, as if the disease entailed a failure to communicate complex thinking coupled with benign amnesia. A lot of the humour in this gently funny book springs from Maud's unsuitability for the role of investigator, combined with her endearing determination to keep at it. The use of the present tense allows us to inhabit developments minute by minute, alongside our reporter. Healey has a good ear for dialogue, both in the modern and 1940s sections. The postwar family, its culture and the search for Maud's sister are well imagined.

We start with Elizabeth. Elizabeth is missing Maud knows this because in her pocket she keeps finding notes she's written to herself that say so. There's corroboration for her fears: Elizabeth's house is empty and her coarse and stupid son appears to be engaged in a house clearance. Maud annoys people – notably her stoical, weary daughter, Helen – by insisting that Elizabeth has disappeared (their circular conversations ring absolutely true) and hectors the local constabulary. Maud dottily buys many, many cans of peaches.

That the narrative is constantly engaging is down to Healey's gift for recruiting the minutiae of domestic life into the story. Plaited into this wryness is the darker question, asked in flashbacks, of what can have happened to Sukey, Maud's glamorous older sister, who'd recently married the sinister Frank, who might have been a black-market racketeer. These twin mysteries and their double-helix narrative shape are confidently handled, though the voice of the novel gets itself into a bit of a knot. Inevitably, the interior Maud and the confused old lady she appears to be on the outside don't always seem as though they're the same person. Maud is ill enough to need a carer, the entertainingly pessimistic Carla, but is secretly articulate: Elizabeth has "laughed at my reaction to the veiny ugliness of a moulded leaf or the sick-makingly intricate scales of a fish" in her pottery collection. It's tempting to wonder why a woman constantly writing herself notes – and still able to read them – hasn't also written down the solution to the Elizabeth mystery, which, it transpires, Helen has explained to her over and over again. The sustaining of suspense depends entirely upon the explanations never happening in our earshot.

This is a commendably well-crafted story, and flowers finally into a moving one. The rapid descent of Maud, in the final pages of the book, from someone who can still go shopping on her own to someone who no longer always recognises her daughter, is skilfully done, and there are still flashes of dementia humour. When the law turns up, towards the end, Maud says: "They've been labelled, like my KETTLE plug and my TEA jar. Their label is POLICE."

The Women of the OSS: On The Pioneering American Spies of WWII

My fascination with the women of the Office of Strategic Services, the organization that was the precursor to the CIA in WWII, began with a Washington Post article I came across from June 2011, about two best friends in a retirement community in Virginia. Elizabeth McIntosh and Doris Bohrer lived on the same street in the Westminster at Lake Ridge Seniors Village in Prince William County. Upon meeting, they bonded over a highly unusual connection—both women had been spies overseas in WWII in the OSS, and later had long careers with the CIA. McIntosh had served in Asia, and, even at ninety-six, still struggled with the guilt over unwittingly handing off an explosive disguised as a piece of coal to a Chinese operative. The bomb ended up blowing up a train, killing hundreds of Japanese soldiers. Bohrer served in Italy, gathering intelligence on what the Nazis were building by analyzing aerial photographs.

After reading the article, I filed it away as a possible idea for my next novel and found that I could not stop thinking about it. I was aware of the British female spies of the SOE during World War II, but had never really heard much about American female spies. I began asking the questions that I always did before starting a new project—who were these women? What were their stories? This new project would ultimately become my third novel, The Secret Stealers, which releases April 1st.

Who were these women? What were their stories?

To understand the role of the women of the OSS, it’s important to first understand the organization’s overall mission and history. On June 13th, 1942, President Roosevelt authorized the establishment of the OSS in a military order, under the umbrella of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The purpose of the newly formed service was to collect and analyze strategic intelligence, but also to “enforce our will upon the enemy by means other than military action.” In other words, to engage in acts of espionage, including but not limited to, activities such as unorthodox warfare, contact with resistance groups, and subversion and sabotage.

Roosevelt appointed Major General William J. Donovan to head up this new shadow organization. Donovan, the most decorated soldier in U.S. history as a result of his heroism in World War I, was a larger than life personality with a rather unorthodox leadership style. With the country on the verge of war, Donovan had to build up the OSS from scratch very quickly. There was no time for tight security checks, so he reached out to his vast network and recruited from the upper echelons of society – Ivy league graduates, former business associates, professors from elite colleges and linguists, among others. This resulted in the OSS having a reputation as elitist, earning the nicknames “Oh So Snobby” and “Oh So Social”.

Maggie Griggs, Donovan’s assistant, was in charge of recruitment of women in the early days of the organization. This task was difficult because of the secrecy of the OSS—she couldn’t tell the OSS recruits what type of work they would be doing, so she could only discreetly advertise for the work positions in generalities in newspapers and magazines. This made it difficult to compete with the new women’s branches of the armed forces—the Navy WAVEs and the Army WACs, which made promises of high adventure and sleek uniforms.

In her book Sisterhood of Spies:Women of the OSS, Elizabeth McIntosh recalls that “most of us, men and women, were an undisciplined collection of volunteers selected almost at random, for many reasons and for many objectives.” There is a reason Donovan referred to the members of his organization as his “glorious amateurs”. But in fairly short time, the OSS grew to include thousands of personnel stationed around the world, and its work became essential to the Allies’ military planning in the various war zones in which they were engaged.

The training of the female spies of the OSS, those who went undercover to serve in war zones, was as varied as the clandestine missions they embarked on. McIntosh attended more than one of the special training schools that had been set up on the outskirts of D.C. Her friend Doris Bohrer attended training at the OSS facility in Bethesda, Maryland that is now the Congressional Country Club.

Donovan had realized early on the strategic value of using female spies in the field through his relationships with the leaders of the SOE in the U.K. On a visit to Wanborough Manor, one of the SOE’s espionage training schools, Maurice Buckmaster, head of the SOE’s French Section, convinced Donovan that female recruits were achieving excellent results working undercover in France as couriers and wireless operators, while also engaging in acts of sabotage. Part of this success was simply because women could blend in more easily than men in the occupied territories.

With this strong relationship established between the OSS and SOE, it made logical sense that some of the OSS female spies undergo training with the SOE. Among these trainees was the unflappable and brilliant Betty Lussier. Upon recruitment by the OSS just out of college, she was sent for special training in counterespionage and code work by the SOE at their training facility in St. Albans. Lussier became part of the OSS’s counterintelligence branch, known as X-2. She helped establish an extensive double agent net in Perpignan, France—tracking down collaborators and Nazi agents.

Virginia Hall, perhaps the most famous of all the OSS female spies, was trained by the SOE because she originally worked for that organization, as an undercover agent in France before America entered the war. Known as the “Limping Lady” because she had lost one leg in a hunting accident, Hall’s accomplishments were extraordinary. An expert wireless radio operator, she helped create agent networks, recruited French civilians to establish safe houses, helped prisoners of war escape and arranged air drops of supplies for the French Resistance. The Gestapo referred to as “one of the most dangerous Allied agents in France” and vowed to find and destroy her. They failed.

The OSS employed over 13,000 personnel at its peak, 35% of them women. 7,500 of these men and women served overseas—however the number of women who served overseas as spies was a very small, elite group—and the exact number remains classified. What is certain is the very first American female spies, pioneers like Elizabeth McIntosh, Doris Bohrer and the others I’ve highlighted here, left an enormous legacy and blazed the trail for the American women who work in counterintelligence today.

Anna Cavanaugh, the main character in my novel The Secret Stealers, is a composite of all of the amazing women of the OSS that I learned about during my research for the book. Anna’s experiences working overseas as an undercover agent in France are all based on the true stories of these incredibly brave women. My only hope is that my depiction of Anna and her female cohorts honors their remarkable legacy.

Watch the video: Stevie Ray Vaughan u0026 Jeff Healey - Look At Little Sister


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