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Saturday, July 23, 2016

! CHANGES !


I have two major changes for my blog.

First --

For five years, during the sesquicentennial of the U.S. Civil War, I posted a separate blog about Michigan's "Fighting Fifth" Infantry, giving newspaper articles about the regiment at the pace they originally appeared in the Detroit newspapers.  The sesquicentennial has ended and I have decided to transfer those articles to my main blog.  Those pages now can be found using the blog sidebar.

Change usually brings both good and bad or, at the least, mixed results.  This has been true as I transferred the old blog.  The usual blog format puts the most recent article posted first, with older articles further down.  Transferring the blog let me put articles in the order they appeared.  I also now take a separate page for each year.  Chronological order is so much more sensible than reverse chronological order when dealing with history!  At the same time my use of Google's free Blogger software produced some of those other results.  It's free other than my time!  It's also almost WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), avoiding html coding on my part.  The problem is some of my original decisions, like the use of this color font, proved difficult to change.  Equally frustrating quirks of the Blogger process made problems, for example spacing and fonts are different than I chose on the original blog.  I took the format as far as I could, but it may mislead the reader into not realizing there is more to come.  Just know each page has an entire year and keep going.  Additionally my main blog has so many search labels it was impossible to add the many labels specific to the former blog.  Those topics, however, are listed right underneath the newspaper article title and date, before the actual article.

Are the actual articles all I would like?  OF COURSE NOT!  To begin with, the original microfilm process recording those newspapers of over 150 years ago had flaws.  Added to that, I used the index Helen Ellis made, during the centennial 51 years ago, of the Burton Historical Collection newspapers in her Michigan in the Civil War, but, I saw different edition times because the Library of Michigan microfilmed newspaper collection gave me the ability to use a flash drive in my own recording.  That meant two different libraries with two different editions.  At times the newspapers didn't publish the same thing in both morning and evening editions.  As if that wasn't confusing and frustrating enough, trips to Lansing gathering the material had to be limited.  Add in my own learning curve on collection and reproduction to correct microfilm flaws.  I apologize.  This process from original microfilming to final reproduction here couldn't be as complete nor as perfect as I wish.

But as they say in "infomercials", That's not all!


My second change --

I love offering the segment I call Keeping the Public in Public Domain.  As of this time, I've posted 135 public domain stories, complete with appropriate background information I prowl to find.  

In addition, at the end I've posted a link promoting Dr. Yoel Perez's online database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I still will include it because it offers probably the most ambitious online listing of public domain international folklore, and also presents online the 6 volume Stith Thompson's Motif Index.  But when I say "That's not all!" I have decided to add to it.  I'm a long-time fan and promoter of the email list, 
now hosted by the National Storytelling Network at http://storynet.org/storytell.html but it dates back to 1995.  Recently it had a discussion of Online Story Sources.

Aside from my mentioning in the list discussion the Keeping the Public in Public Domain segment and Yashpeh, several other sites were mentioned by other list members.  I'd like those sites to be known by other story loving readers.  My sidebar's already jam-packed with the Civil War pages and all my many article labels, so I don't want to post my recommendations there, but will make the Keeping the Public in Public Domain ending include the other major sites, along with a suggestion for finding sites no longer active.  That way if a site has links that are no longer valid, you probably can still find by using the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, an excellent resource.  


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Cher Ami, a true story of World War I

While telling about the "Hello Girls" of World War I, it is also necessary to tell about other ways the Army communicated besides the telephone.  Today's story is about an unusual hero, a pigeon.

The official report of the various methods can be found in.Getting the message through: a branch history of the U.S. Army Signal Corps by Rebecca Robbins Raines, published by the U.S. Army Center of Military History as part of its Army History series.  Chapter V relates how President Wilson's prolonged "insistence on neutrality until nearly the eve of war, however, severely hampered preparedness efforts by the War and Navy Departments. In his view, such activities would not be 'neutral.' "  This created extra problems for the Signal Corps requiring a "rapid and vast expansion...to mobilize its technological, scientific, and economic resources as never before...To obtain needed technical expertise in communications, the Army called upon the private sector."
Yes, they still tried to use the methods that had been part of the Signal Corps methods.  Look at the Signal Corps branch insignia and you'll see the old flags and torch representing their longtime visual method dating back to their formation at the start of the Civil War.

Unfortunately twentieth century signals sent that way caused high mortality.  Flares, of course, were possible, but only showed a location.  Radios were heavy (up to 500 pounds) and the trench warfare methods meant they interfered with each other, so they were more useful in intelligence work.  Speaking of intelligence, cryptography was hardly used.  The Spanish-American War had been unsuccessful in its use of trained pigeons, but again they tried.  This time they created an avian hero, Cher Ami, star of several books, films, and named by Time magazine one of the Top 10 Heroic Animals.

Cher Ami was one of 600 donated by British pigeon fanciers and the last of six birds used by the 554 men known as the Lost Battalion , the 77th Division, who were mainly from New York City, after they became trapped behind German lines in a small ravine area of the Argonne Forest.  Led by Major Charles White Whittlesey, they held out for days against German snipers, waves of German troops armed with hand grenades, and even flame throwers.  Runners attempting to reach French or American lines were either killed or captured.  Food was running out.  The only water at a nearby stream caused so many more wounded in the attempt to bring some back so that eventually the major had to post guards and tell them to shoot anybody attempting to fill a canteen.  "Friendly fire" also meant they were being shelled by their own artillery.  The Germans sent a blindfolded 18 year-old American P.O.W. with a request for surrender.  This was rejected, but the situation was bad enough that bandages were even being taken off the dead to be used again for new men wounded.

Fortunately the men still had three pigeons.  The first bird was sent with this message, "Many wounded. We cannot evacuate." The pigeon carrying the message was shot down. They sent out a second bird with the message, "Men are suffering. Can support be sent?" It, too, was killed.  Eventually Cher Ami was sent.  Cher Ami had delivered 11 messages prior to this current engagement.  Unfortunately, like the earlier two pigeons, the Germans saw when birds were released and so this last bird, too, was shot.  A shell exploded under the bird as it was released, killing five men.  The other soldiers saw it flutter to the ground between the stream and the bridge.  Only later did Cher Ami revive enough to fly again.  Another version, from the book, Yanks; the epic story of the American Army in World War I by John S.D. Eisenhower, says it was able to fly straight up and shivered on the branch of a tree until Whittlesey and the pigeon keeper exposed themselves to German fire while they threw stones at the bird until it took off through German artillery fire.  One thing is certain, by the time it reached its coop 25 miles away to deliver the message attached to one foot, there were several injuries -- one eye was blinded, its breast was shattered by a shot, and the canister with the message was dangling because that leg was only attached by a tendon.  Here's the message.
Fortunately 194 soldiers were able to walk out uninjured because of that message.  Roughly 197 were killed in action and approximately 150 missing or taken prisoner.  Major Whittelsey, whose nickname was "Galloping Charlie", was promoted to a Lieutenant Colonel and, along with others, received the Medal of Honor.

WWI Croix de Guerre
Cher Ami was also honored.  The one-legged, one-eyed bird was given the French Croix de Guerre as well as a U.S. oak leaf cluster -- even though its chest was too injured to display it.  The pigeon was named an Army mascot and retired only to die of the battle wounds about six months later.  In 1931 the bird was inducted into the Racing Pigeon Hall of Fame and received a gold medal from the Organized Bodies of American Pigeon Fanciers.  If you know French, you know the name means "Dear Friend" and is male.  It was only after the bird died and was preserved by a taxidermist for display at the Smithsonian that it was discovered she was a hen.  (Yet another female "Getting the message through"!)

As for the telephone, the Bell System (later AT and T) was called upon to join the Signal Corps.  Here in the Michigan State Telephone Company district, the "Bell Telephone News" - volume 7, which starts in August of 1917 and ends July of 1918 tells about not only the women "switchboard soldiers", as General Pershing called them, but also the men from the Bell System who became soldiers.  Each month opens with personal news like marriages, vacations, transfers, and near the end there's a section called "Of Interest to Our Girls" which not only includes articles aimed at the operators, but even shows fashions occasionally complete with patterns.  The rest of each issue includes news including Chicago and occasional Wisconsin corporate news.  To present day readers the corporate gender discrimination is obvious, as well as the highest supervisory position for a woman at the time was training other operators.
......

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Mooney - The Ball Game of the Birds and Animals - Keeping the Public in Public Domain


Today's story comes just in time for the All Star Baseball game on July 12.

Watching a pair of red-tail hawks today reminded me of my only visit to Hannibal, Missouri where I went up on a cliff overlooking the Mississippi and above a flock of hawks circling about like today's pair.  It was great to be above that flock of hawks, looking down.  Remembering this sent me hunting for a story with hawks.  Native American folklore offers a wealth of nature stories and James Mooney did an excellent job collecting Myths of the Cherokee .  Back in February I mentioned:  Not only did a Cherokee storytelling friend once verify the accuracy of the book by saying it didn't even make the elders snicker much -- as in their respecting its getting the material right! -- but the versions often tell well exactly as Mooney wrote it.  Mooney took the trouble to live with the Cherokee for several years, trying to help those of us who are non-Cherokee understand their culture.  Today's story not only tells well, but there are two picture book versions of it, which shows what an excellent story it is.

 While I am giving the Cherokee version, the other picture book version is from the Muskogee (Creek), which, along with the Cherokee, are a member of the "Five Civilized Tribes" of the Southeastern part of the United States.  As a result it's not surprising that they share a great tale.  By the way, up above I gave a link to the Project Gutenberg online copy of Mooney's entire book.  My own copy is a Dover edition and it has something I value, but missing in that online copy, a 28 page index that is quite detailed, making it easy to find today's story.

 






























Most Native American storytelling includes a traditional prohibition against summer storytelling of some sort.  Twenty-first century skeptic that I am, I figure that was started to keep people from sitting around storytelling when they were supposed to be gathering food and preparing for winter.  Here in Michigan I was told by a storyteller friend of the Saginaw Chippewa band, Robyn Henry, it was acceptable to tell about plants and people, but stories about animals should be avoided as they need to gather their strength for the winter.  When I asked the Cherokee friend about this, he said they don't tell in summer for fear the plants will hear and stop growing.  Normally my comment would be to tell to keep from having to mow so often.  That's my usual response, but right now southeastern Michigan has been missed by any rain passing across the country.  The only thing growing right now are some weeds that drive people wanting a "lawn" nuts.  Hmmmmm, it makes you wonder if the plants and animals have computer access.  Talk about WiFi!

O.k. the hawk had only a featured role in today's story, but they do sail high overhead -- with or without computer signals.  Whether watching them from a cliff high above, or below as they whistle and soar, may your own summer games and stories be enjoyable.
*******
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  


At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.  
 


There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I recommended it earlier and want to continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so one can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression he likes by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm

He also loaded to his server the doctorate thesis of Prof. Dov Noy (Neunan) "Motif-index of Talmudic-Midrahic literature" Indiana University, 1954, as a PDF file.
in the hope that some of you would make use of it.

You can see why that is a site I recommend to you.

Have fun discovering even more stories!


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Michigan's "Fighting Fifth" Infantry . . . changes coming

I soon will be opening a secondary section about the U.S. Civil War and the Michigan "Fighting Fifth Infantry" on my main blog of Storytelling + Research = LoiS.
 
Because I frequently portray a local woman, Liberetta Lerich Green, talking about abolition and her family 100 years ago, during the years of the Civil War sesquicentennial I posted Detroit area newspaper articles about the "Fighting Fifth" which her brothers joined.  I created a separate blog posting at the pace those articles originally appeared.  My intent was to give a sense of how family and friends had to experience news about them.  I've maintained that blog separately, but think it is now time to stop paying to have it continue.  Still I do want people to continue to be able to access those articles which would normally require going to a research library and prowling the microfilmed newspapers.  I did that for four years, saving what I saw to a flash drive, then reproducing it as best I could.  I'm painfully aware of the shortcomings in the original microfilm and in my own limited ability to reproduce it.  At the same time I believe internet access to the material is better than telling everyone to go a library with the microfilm.  The Library of Michigan was further away from me than Detroit Public Library's Burton Historical Library, but it offered an interface permitting that flash drive reproduction, so that was my source.  I hope my results continue to have an audience.  Incorporating it here is a way it can stay available as long as this blog remains online.

I believe it's worth a look back at how our soldiers and their families are treated.  The Michigan volunteers fought to keep our country whole and safe, yes, and that includes our celebrating the 4th.  That is why I'm spending time copying and transferring http://www.mich5thinfantry.net/ , Michigan's "Fighting Fifth" Civil War Infantry, so others may find online their newspaper accounts.  On this 4th of July extended holiday weekend, it strikes me as an appropriate way to remember their sacrifices.  (The hotlink above for that other blog will soon stop working.  If you want to see the original, go quickly, but know the information will soon be here instead.)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Lowe & Jacobson - Taxicabs of Paris - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

The Taxis of Paris - World War I
The book, Fifty Famous Stories, written and compiled by Samuel E. Lowe and Viola E. Jacobson didn't look all that impressive when I first saw it in a used book store.  As you may have guessed, I'm a bibliomaniac and, when it comes to old books, I am drawn like a bee on a mission in field of wildflowers.  The 1920 book has the cheapest of yellowing paper, it was published by a company that tended to appeal to the adults buying inexpensive but "good" reading material for children, and the front cover illustration by Neil O'Keefe of "John Smith and Pocahontas" didn't grab me
any more than the back cover of Joan of Arc.  There wasn't even a Table of Contents!  It certainly wasn't indexed in the books I check when on the prowl.

Even at that I let myself flip through the book.  Many of the stories were about famous historical incidents or people, while some were mythological or Biblical stories and a few other well-known literary tales.  O.k. I must have let myself read a story or two and was willing to pay $13.00 for it.  At home I entered it in the AZZ Cardfile I keep of my books, in this case listing all the stories since I knew I'd never think to open it otherwise.

I'm so glad I did!

This past week was the second of two preview programs about the "Hello Girls" and World War I.  After polishing the program and its music of the era, I was still not ready to set it aside and checked to see what I might have about World War I safely in Public Domain.  Today's story is a legend French school children know well, but is unknown to most of us here in the United States.  I'm going to post it and then send you to "the rest of the story."

































 Looking at the covers of Fifty Famous Stories and flipping through the books contents, it's obvious Lowe and Jacobson were intent on preserving legends rather than digging into fact.  By 1920 this story had traveled into the province of legend, even if more familiar in France than here.

The Smithsonian may head their article "A fleet of taxis did not really save Paris from the Germans during World WarI" , but the facts they reveal still makes a darned good story and includes enough that you might agree with the article's conclusion, "And a century later, there are few symbols more enduring or important in France than the Taxis of the Marne."  While you're at it, scroll down further on the page to read the article's accumulated comments.

For now I'm going to post the end papers in the front and back of Fifty Famous Stories as it gives a charming visual of the way legends spur our imagination, and that's part of what the Public Domain does in giving us a way to look back at our cultural heritage.

*****

This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  


At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.  
 


There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I recommended it earlier and want to continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so one can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression he likes by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm

He also loaded to his server the doctorate thesis of Prof. Dov Noy (Neunan) "Motif-index of Talmudic-Midrahic literature" Indiana University, 1954, as a PDF file.
in the hope that some of you would make use of it.

You can see why that is a site I recommend to you.

Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Pershing's "Switchboard Soldiers", Oleda Joure Christides, and Women's Suffrage


Until recently, like Don C. Warrington, I thought General John Pershing might have been called "Black Jack" because it was his favorite card game.  Not at all.  On Warrington's site I learned like me, Pershing was originally from Missouri with a strong background in working with African-Americans.  When he went into the military this was just his start as the general was noted for his long-time command of the so-called "Buffalo Soldiers", an African-American soldiers regiment begun in the Civil War.  When the U.S. entered World War I, his ideas weren't always accepted.  President Wilson rejected Pershing's request and put all black units under the French.  Since the U.S. had been reluctant to enter the war, Pershing was more successful refusing to be part of the Allied army, instead calling our army the American Expeditionary Force (the AEF).  The war was in a stalemate after three years, the French army had mutinied and the Russian revolution had begun.  Pershing's ideas did more than separate the U.S. army, he created the first women soldiers by requesting bi-lingual phone operators "Over There" who became known as "Hello Girls."

As followers of this site know, I'm working on telling the story of those Hello Girls.  This week was the second of my preview programs testing it with some very different audiences.  I present the story of the women Pershing called "Switchboard Soldiers" through the eyes of Oleda Joure Christides, one of the few women who finally received veteran's status, a process that took roughly 60 years.  It also didn't include most of them because by the late 1970s, out of the 223 serving abroad, only 18 of those serving in France were alive and even then were told they had just become "veterans" and it was not retroactive!

The early 20th century saw the battle for Women's Suffrage come to fulfillment almost everywhere.  (Saudi Arabia waited until the end of 2015 to allow women to vote in municipal elections.)  Here in the U.S. President Wilson initially opposed it, but the war eventually convinced him to support the 19th amendment. I'm rather fond of this August 14, 1917 banner from before the war.

I remember vividly a woman in the now defunct storytelling group, the Mount Clemens Raconteurs, tell of her experience at the voting booth when she was among those first women voters.  It was not something most men of her day were ready to accept!

I don't know if Oleda, who was a teenager needing special permission to go overseas with the other women taking oaths with the Army Signal Corps, ever talked about voting, but she certainly was aware of the decades long struggle to be recognized as more than the "civilian contractor" the Army tried to call her and her fellow soldiers.  Soldier is how they were addressed and Pershing was the one who coined the term "Switchboard Soldiers." The more popular name of "Hello Girls" came from the men relieve to hear "Hello" or "Number Please" instead of coping with the French operators.  Beyond that, their chief operator, Grace Banker, received a Distinguished Service medal when her mobile unit came under fire, and also women could prove they were threatened with court martial.  Both their service and the delay for recognition were definitely a part of the struggle involved in Women's History.

I've promised to produce some of my resources here used in preparation for my program.  Be sure to go to the other articles here under the label, Hello Girls, also found on my ever-growing sidebar of links.  It's the librarian in me that tries to produce as many ways to find information as possible.

I presume online readers are good at online searching.  I've given many links in those Hello Girls articles, especially pointing people to a site created by Oleda's daughter, Michelle Christides, but also want to send you to some articles she wrote for the children's historical magazine, Cobblestone.  If you have access to the Gale Virtual Reference Library database (available here in Michigan through the wonderful Michigan eLibrary) you may access the articles online.  Because they were written in 2006, don't be surprised if you own library has "weeded" them out.  Future researchers may find libraries with space and money constraints don't have old issues, then if a journal can't be afforded in the future you may not find it easily.  Sorry, but I think there's a value in warehousing print, as my own overflowing personal library shows.

Be aware, my focus is oral literature and I don't have a dissertation or other need to follow an official stylesheet in the following bibliography, so if that is your goal it may need rearranging, but still should help you find the material.  I also eagerly await the book Michelle Christides is working to produce.  She has the complete list of the Signal Corps operators and has sought information from their descendants to create their definitive history.  (There were seven units and Oleda was in the sixth, the last to go overseas.)

Because my own work focuses on Marine City telephone operator trainer -- the highest supervisory position open to women at the time -- and musician, Oleda Joure Christides, I am abandoning alphabetical order and starting with C first as her daughter and others in Marine City and beyond have been so helpful and Oleda is my primary focal point.
  • Christides, Michelle - Answering the call - Cobblestone, March 2006 page 20+ (My apologies that this and the next article only give the starting page...they were found using the Gale database which doesn't give the final page number.)
  • Christides, Michelle - A 60 year battle - Cobblestone, March 2006page 39+. (LSK: Because these two articles were written for children, they do an excellent job of pointing out changes in telephones and military terminology adults may overlook.)
  • Michelle also has some additional online articles beyond her own site at the Doughboy Center -- a fascinating WWI site, but huge, if you want to prowl it go to http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/dbc2.htm and prowl each of the 3 icons.  For Oleda's story, it's even beyond that as it's within the "2d Army" section under "Biographies & First Hand Accounts" which is labeled "Under redesign but active."  It includes diaries, letters, and biographies, including four women, among them Marion G. Crandell of the YMCA, who was the first American woman killed in action.
  • Another article by Michelle is a condensed excerpt at the fascinating site by Captain Barb in her Military Women Veterans which looks at American women and their service starting with the American Revolution.
Banker Paddock, Grace - I Was a "Hello Girl" in The World Wars remembered : personal recollections of heroes, hello girls, flying aces, prisoners, survivors, and those on the homefront, prepared by the staff of Yankee Magazine, 1979. pp. 110-115 (As the head over all the operators, in the very first unit, and the only one decorated for her service, her view of the Signal Corps women is a key part of their story.)

Monahan, Evelyn - A few good women : America's military women from World War I to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Knopf, 2010.

Raines, Rebecca Robbins - Getting the message through : a branch history of the U.S. Signal Corps, Center of Military History, United States Army, 1996.

Schneider, Dorothy and Carl J. - Into the breach : American women overseas in World War I, Viking, 1991.

Wyman, Thomas Sage - A telephone switchboard operator with the A.E.F. in France - Army History, Fall 1977/Winter 1998 pp. 1-9.  (Wyman is talking from the viewpoint of his mother, Dorothy Sage Wyman, who, like Oleda, lived long enough to receive her honorable discharge papers.)

The story of these fascinating and determined women is finally being discovered.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Hello to the "Hello Girls"

#1
Please help me decide something.

This week I've started my preview performances of the stories of the Hello Girls, the World War I bi-lingual telephone operators of the U.S. Army Signal Corps.  It took  60 years, but they were finally recognized as the first women's combatants.  I will appear as Oleda Joure Christides from Marine City, but also mention many others including Cora Bartlett of Hillsdale County Michigan, the only one of their number lost, although typhoid was the cause.

These soldiers, for that is how they were addressed, had to pay to have their uniforms made.  The uniforms were modeled after that of the Army nurse and cost $300-500.  The present equivalent is slightly more than $4350-7250 in 2016 dollars.  It's no wonder the people of Emmett, Idaho held a benefit to help Anne Campbell Atkinson get uniformed.

Only after my very hot and heavy woolen uniform was made did I learn they also had summer uniforms.  That comparison with the value of 1918 dollars made me feel better about having both sets made.  I did not bother with the woolen underwear nor those black sateen bloomers the women also ignored!

Now for my problem.  I want to send historical groups, libraries, and schools who have seen my historical work a letter accompanied by a photograph of me in uniform.  I know other groups when booking me will also want a photo.  I'm not sure how to make a collage photo and also will need to single out one in particular to get the message across visually.  Could you help me decide?   Frankly I always hate pictures and these are many things, but definitely not "glamour shots."
#2

#3
#4

#5
#6
#8
#7

Sorry, but this really is saved rotated right-side-up with Headless as #9 or my attempt at German humor: Nein!
Photos were graciously taken in Frankenmuth at the Michigan's Military & Space Heroes Museum (on a very busy Memorial Day weekend!) and at the Doughboy Statue in Bay City at the General John J. Pershing Park next to the Sage Branch Library of the Bay County Library System.  Others also most helpful in my preparation have included the Pride and Heritage Museum of Marine City and even as far away as Washington, D.C.'s Smithsonian National Museum of American Heritage Division of Armed Forces History and, of course, Oleda's own daughter, Michelle Christides, who has worked incredibly hard to get the story known.  I look forward to her book about them and will gladly promote and offer it when it becomes available.

In the meantime I need to get the word out and for that I need a best picture or pictures.  I look forward to reactions here, Facebook, or my email.  THANK YOU!

UPDATE: I just realized I never posted the results here, although I did put it on Facebook.  Taking all the reactions convinced me it was better to create a collage of pictures.  This was the result.
 

Next week (6/18/2016) maybe I can show some more of the research behind all of this.  We'll see.  It's a hectic time, including another preview of the program, so maybe I will take the quicker way and post another story. . . we'll see.