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51% Show #1321

Jen Chien

On this week’s 51%, you’ll hear about a club for women in a predominantly male profession – automotive technology. Plus, we bring you the author of Soldier Girls, a book about women enlisted in the National Guard just months before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. And you’ll learn about why Brooklyn, Illinois could be on the map.

Not only can you drive my car, but you can drive the car I repaired.  Hear about how, in California, the HeartWrenchersAuto Club takes women beyond the driver’s seat. Jen Chien reports from KALW in San Francisco. 

Credit Author photograph by Marea Evans

In the spring of 2001, three women enlisted in the Indiana National Guard. Each had her own idea of what a stint in the Guard might mean — free education, a sense of purpose, extra money. But just months after they signed up, the 9/11 attacks occurred and what the women thought would be a couple days of drills each month turned into long overseas deployments. 51%’s Joe Donahue spoke with Helen Thorpe about her book, Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War, in which she follows the lives of these women for 12 years.

Now we turn to a different era, the pre-Civil War. And we’re taking you to a place you’ve probably never heard of, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. It’s the small town of Brooklyn, Illinois. What little revenue the town brings in mostly comes from strip clubs. But there’s more to Brooklyn than that. St. Louis Public Radio’s VéroniqueLaCapra went there to meet up with some archeologists who are digging for evidence of Brooklyn’s important role in African-American History.  

And that’s our show for this week. We hope you join us for the next one. Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio.