Mindshare LA Screening: "Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of World War II"
Sunday, January 29, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PST)
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday January 29th, 6pm - 9pm.
Mindshare LA is Proud to Present a Special Screening of:
"Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of World War II"
Don Chui Catering will be serving: Chicken Fajitas, Vegan Pasta and Cactus Salad from 5:30pm onward.
In 1942, when computers were human and women were underestimated, a group of female mathematicians helped win a war and usher in the modern computer age. Sixty-five years later their story has finally been told through LeAnn Erickson's documentary Top Secret Rosies.
6pm-7pm Drinks Specials | 7pm-9pm Screening & Followup Discussion
** FREE ADMISSION FOR UNDER 18s **
Downtown Independent Theater, 251 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
AFTER THE SCREENING:
IN CONVERSATION WITH:
In early December 1941, Betty Jean Jennings was a freshman completing her first semester at a rural Missouri college. In Philadelphia, Doris and Shirley Blumberg were seniors at Girl’s High and Marlyn Wescoff was completing a minor in business machines at Temple University. In an era of limited career opportunities for women, these bright students anticipated low paying careers as schoolteachers or bookkeepers. But on Sunday, December 7, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and changed these young women’s lives forever. With Pearl Harbor suddenly drawing the US in to WWII, the Army launched a frantic national search for women mathematicians.
The women of Top Secret Rosies were plucked from high schools and colleges to work at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1940s. They moved into dorms and apartments and went through a rigorous introduction to ballistics calculations in order to do the job. It paid well, and the women were close. They played bridge, shared dinners and danced together in the university gardens when the war in Europe ended.
Still, they struggled with the knowledge that their calculations -- so precise they measured whether an enemy soldier was standing up or lying in a trench -- were used at war.
"'It is hard to overstate the significance of the contribution of these women to the Allied victory in World War II, a fact that few people are aware of."
"These women were given scanty credit for their achievements and shared a single certificate of commendation. In fact, they later learned that when they demonstrated how ENIAC worked, the military officers in attendance thought they were just models brought in to make the [computer] look good. "