Josephine Baker

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Josephine Baker is often remembered as a trailblazing singer, actress, and dancer of the Jazz Age but few people know that during World War II she supported the Allied cause by working as a spy for the French Resistance. By the start of the war, Baker had already been living in France for many years; she had become a French citizen in 1937 after marrying Jewish Frenchman Jean Lion. Throughout the war, she maintained a busy performance schedule in many of Europe’s wartime cities which provided an excellent cover for her covert activities. 

Baker served as a sub-lieutenant in the Women’s Auxiliary of the Free French Air Force and helped spy for the French government by gathering information at high society events held at embassies. Her fame gave her the unusual ability to visit neutral nations during the war so she assisted the French Resistance by smuggling secrets written in invisible ink on her sheet music. She helped other intelligence agents secure travel visas by including them as part of her performance entourage. Baker also helped many people in danger from the Nazis get visas to leave occupied France. Toward the war’s end, she performed for liberated prisoners at Buchenwald who were too weak to move.

For her service to France during the war, Baker was awarded the Croix de guerre and the Medal of the French Resistance with Rosette. She was also made a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur — the country’s highest decoration — by General Charles de Gaulle. When Baker passed away in 1975, she became the first American-born woman to receive full French military honors at her funeral.

To introduce young readers to Josephine Baker’s fascinating life story, we recommend “Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker” for ages 7 to 10 (, “Jazz Age Josephine” for ages 4 to 8 (, and the recently released “The Many Faces of Josephine Baker: Dancer, Singer, Activist, Spy” for ages 12 and up (

Adults interested in learning more about her remarkable story may enjoy “Josephine: The Hungry Heart” and ( and “Josephine Baker in Art and Life” ( — as well as the excellent film “The Josephine Baker Story” (

For more true stories of heroic women who worked as spies and resisters during WWII, check out the excellent “Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue” at

And, for more stories about girls and women who lived during the WWII years, visit our “WWII & Holocaust” section at

Impeach Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis

Subject: Impeach Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis


We must protect our state from an elected official violating the laws of our country.

That’s why I signed a petition to The Kentucky State House, The Kentucky State Senate, and Governor Steve Beshear, which says:

“Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has defied the Supreme Court ruling and a direct federal judge order to fulfill her religious believes and to discriminate against our gay community. By doing this she is not upholding her duties of her office. If her religious believes will not allow her to uphold the duties of the office she holds then we must remove her from office.”

Will you sign this petition? Click here:



I’m sick and tired of reading about Clerk Kim Davis in Kentucky, whining about her religious rights, and her religious liberties as she blithely tramples on the civil rights of others. My solution: IMPEACH THE BITCH!

Same Sex Marriage

“Were it not for the fact that Davis is an elected official she would be fired. The only way to remove her from office for her civil crimes is to impeach her. Please sign this petition to demand that impeachment proceedings be started against Clerk Kim Davis. The Job She is refusing to do has nothing to do with religion or her religious beliefs. We can not permit her to use her bigotry to refuse to do her job by hiding behind Christianity. She must be impeached and replaced by someone mentally more capable of properly performing the job she has continually refused to perform..”

July 1956


Twenty years later, much had improved.  Children no longer worked in mines, but whenever there was need, which was all the time, many of us found a way to earn money.

In July of 1956, while other girls spent their days at the town beach, I worked my first full-time job in a sweatshop; it was not a fun job. I was just 15. In those days children under 16 were no longer allowed to work in factories, but because I am tall, I lied about my age and easily passed for 16. No one ever asked to see a birth certificate or a “picture ID.”  Nevertheless, whenever the authorities came to inspect the shop, the owner had me hide.

My duties at the shop were simple. At first I merely trimmed finished garments, preparing them for shipping. Soon after, the operators taught me to run the button and buttonholer machines, and I started earning “real” money.  Thankfully, high school graduation marked the end of my career at the sweatshop.  I had an opportunity to attend a four-year-college — the first in my family to live that dream.  I walked away from the factory, but not without a backward look.

Admittedly, I carried away a few fond memories of the place, along with some not-so-fond memories.  Still, working there I had been able to earn much needed money for commuting expenses, to buy text books and pay student fees for my first year at the City College of New York.  

Because I was a  good student, I had learned a lot of things at the sweatshop — things that had nothing to do with stitching on buttons or working perfect buttonholes, or even the complexities of marketing children’s garments — things that before taking the job I didn’t know I would need to learn. Yet, without a doubt the most important lesson I had mastered after working three long summers at the factory was that I would never return.  Never.  No matter what other people said about being able to earn good money or being prideful.  I would never go back.  

The Ugly Truth

                      The Ugly Truth


                                            By Peter Daou and Tom Watson

“This isn’t about the emails anymore.  It never was.  It’s about making a woman bow down before the powers that be, something Hillary has never done.  After all, Donald Trump has spent the summer demeaning women, embracing xenophobia, and smearing a POW, but we don’t see the media and elite commentariat clamoring for an apology.”

Read the entire article:

Simone Segouin

From the Detroit News:

‘Rebellious spirit’:

18 year old French Résistance fighter, Simone Segouin, with war name Nicole Minet. She had come from Chartres to help liberate the capital. Paris, August 19, 1944. Image grab from internet - for Nikki

“George Stevens’s 1944 film immortalises an 18-year-old Simone shortly after she helped capture 25 German soldiers in her home village of Thivars, south west of Paris

Her notoriety was further established by a series of astonishing images, taken by the legendary war photographer Robert Capa, published in Life magazine the following month.

Now, more than 70 years later, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Simone, approaching her 90th birthday, is as spirited as ever.

Her actions helped to change the course of feminist history in France. But Simone remains eternally modest. ‘I was a Resistance fighter, that’s all,’ she shrugs. ‘If I had to do it all again, I would, because I don’t regret anything.’

She even appears on the cover of a new book on the French Resistance. Fighters In The Shadows by Robert Gildea, professor of Modern History at Oxford University, brings to light the role of female resistance fighters.

Simone was born into a farming family near Chartres, around 55 miles from the French capital. As the only daughter among three brothers, Simone was used to holding her own in a world of men.

In 1944, at the height of the Nazi occupation of France, she joined the Francs-Tireurs et Partisans (Free-shooters and Partisans, or FTP) – a combat alliance made up of militant communists and French nationalists. Simone was very much in the latter camp. Her father was a huge inspiration – a decorated soldier who had fought in the Great War – and she was intensely proud of her country.

‘The Germans were our enemies – we were French,’ she explained, simply.”

– See more at:…/99420-derring-do-of-simonesegouin-the-nazi- hunting-teen-pin-up-of-the-french-resistance.html