Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

March 10, 1945

On March 10, 1945, New York Amsterdam News journalist Constance Curtis reported that Phyllis Daley had become the Navy’s first African-American nurse. “Before a large group of officers, interested citizens, and reporters from the city’s weeklies and dailies, the first woman to be sworn in under the Navy’s new speed-up recruitment joined the ranks of the women in blue,” Curtis wrote. “The admission of Negro women to the Navy Nurse Corps is a further dissipation of the heretofore iron clad rules, which up until October of last year, excluded Negro women entirely from service in the Navy.” Curtis made reference to Daley’s home address (167 W. 143rd St), and the article headline (“1st Harlemite Takes Oath As Nurse in Navy”) made it clear that the Amsterdam News was excited to claim Daley as a remember of the community. “I hope I am only the first of a large number of members of my race to join the Navy Nurse Corps,” Daley said.101  (Click to view PDF)

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