Veterans Day

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In honor of those who have served, we would like to highlight our military collections.

Lt. Butts’ medals, commendations, dog tags, and diary are all on display. His diary has been transcribed for people to read through without damaging the original. Lt. Butts’ served in Company F. More information about his service can be found on his Wikipedia page.

Company F of the 108th Regiment served in both WWI and WWII. The Company F collection includes scrapbooks, photos, and a guidon. The guidon is a swallow-tailed flag borne by a military unit to mark their position.

Just inside our front doors you can see a painting of the Medina Honor Roll, listing those from Medina who served in the armed forces during WWII. The painting was made by Ray Robinson and depicts his father, the original artist, adding names to the Honor Roll.

We also have a record of Vietnam soldiers from WNY who were killed in action and a scrapbook about the Medina Veterans Memorial.

November is a month for giving thanks for family and friends, make sure to show thanks for our veterans too.

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

See the source imageThe Radium Girls is a real life story about the women who painted luminous numbers on watch dials. The story begins in a New Jersey factory and the excitement of the women working there. The women were paid per dial painted so efficiency was important. They were shown that the easiest way to keep their brushes pointed was to “lip” the tip. At the time radium was the latest fad, people were drinking it in tonics and taking it in pill form. There wasn’t any harm in sticking the paint brush in their mouths hundreds of times a week.

Sadly, the women who worked at the factories in New Jersey, Illinois, and Connecticut soon found out that radium was not safe at all. The US Radium Corporation, originally the Radium Luminous Material Corporation, fought dirty to ensure that they didn’t have to pay restitution to any of the women working there. Radium poisoning wasn’t listed as an occupational disease therefore the women’s illnesses weren’t the company’s fault. They paid doctors to examine the sick women who then lied about their health, even going so far as telling one women she was healthier than he was though he knew she had radium poisoning. One women’s cause of death was listed as syphilis in an effort to discredit her; this was later proven false when they exhumed her body.

The Radium Girls sheds light on the inequity between men and women’s rights as well as the abuses suffered by employees of large corporations. It is a tragedy that many have never heard of. I highly recommend picking up a copy to learn about what happened to “America’s Shining Women”.