On This Day, Oct. 6, 1955 – Army Breaks the Sex Barrier for Nurses


1955 – The Army commissions its first male nurse.

On the 10th of August 1949, Mrs. Frances P. Bolton introduced legislature H.R. 9398 to provide for the appointment of male citizens as nurses in the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Rapidly, a change in the character and nature of correspondence between significant actors of this period can be discerned.

From August 1949 until 1955, government, military and civilian parties debated the commissioning of male nurses. During this time, bills were routinely introduced to Congress. Data supporting the need for an expanded manpower pool was submitted to the appropriations committee and to the armed services for expansion of the Army Nurse Corps through the use of the male nurse. After several series of legislature, on August 9th, 1955, President Eisenhower signed the Bolton Act, which provided commissions for qualified male nurses in the reserve corps of the armed forces services.

After fifty-four years of tradition, the Army Nurse Corps commissioned its first male officer on October 6th, 1955. Lieutenant Edward T. Lyon became the Army Nurse Corps’ first male nurse. The ceiling had been broken.

1683 – The first Mennonites arrived in America aboard the Concord. The German and Dutch families settled in an area that is now a neighborhood in Philadelphia, PA.

1847 – “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte was first published in London.

1848 – The steamboat SS California left New York Harbor for San Francisco via Cape Horn. The steamboat service arrived on February 28, 1849. The trip took 4 months and 21 days.

1857 – The American Chess Congress held their first national chess tournament in New York City.

1863 – The first Turkish bath was opened in Brooklyn, NY, by Dr. Charles Shepard.

1866 – The Reno Brothers pulled the first train robbery in America near Seymour, IN. They got away with $10,000.

1880 – The National League kicked the Cincinnati Reds out for selling beer.

At the end of the season, the team was kicked out of the league for selling beer and refusing to close their park on Sunday as required at the time. The team disbanded. A different Cincinnati Reds team joined the American Association two years later.

1884 – The Naval War College was established in Newport, RI.

1889 – In Paris, the Moulin Rouge opened its doors to the public for the first time.

1889 – The Kinescope was exhibited by Thomas Edison. He had patented the moving picture machine in 1887.

1890 – Polygamy was outlawed by the Mormon Church.

1927 – “The Jazz Singer” opened in New York starring Al Jolson. The film was based on the short story “The Day of Atonement” by Sampson Raphaelson.

1928 – War-torn China was reunited under the Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek.

1937 – “Hobby Lobby” debuted on CBS radio.

1939 – Adolf Hitler denied any intention to wage war against Britain and France in an address to Reichstag.

1949 – President Harry Truman signed the Mutual Defense Assistance Act. The act provided $1.3 billion in the form of military aid to NATO countries.

1954 – E.L. Lyon became the first male nurse for the U.S. Army.

1961 – President John F. Kennedy advised American families to build or buy bomb shelters to protect them in the event of a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union.

1962 – Robert Goulet began the role of Sir Lancelot in “Camelot“.

1973 – Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in an attempt to win back territory that had been lost in the third Arab-Israel war. Support for Israel led to a devastating oil embargo against many nations including the U.S. and Great Britain on October 17, 1973. The war lasted 2 weeks.

1979 – Pope John Paul II became the first pontiff to visit the White House.


Source: On-this-day.com; history.amedd.army.mil; Wikipedia.org