“The Female Spies of WWII”

Did you know that there were female spies working with the Allied Forces during World War II? When the devastation sent most able-bodied men either to war or work camps, women were given an unprecedented amount of responsibility both at home and in the fray. Virginia Hall, for example, was sent to Lyon, France, by Winston Churchill’s Special Operations Executive to help smuggle agents in and information out, all while posing as a stringer for the New York Post. In the present, there’s been a concerted effort by military historians and journalists to bring these women’s legacy to light. Career CIA officers Brent Geary and Randy Burkett are hosting an online lecture with the Smithsonian about women in espionage. Geary and Burkett are both CIA staff historians: Geary conducted a short lecture series about Area 51 called “Very Secret, Very Cool, but Not Aliens,” while Burkett has spent time recruiting potential agents from superhero conventions. In “The Female Spies of WWII,” they’ll both be speaking virtually about the “remarkable women who fought both the Nazis and gender stereotypes,” changing tradition in the CIA in the process. The lecture will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 7. Registration is available at si.edu. $20–$25.