How do you like your history? Writers’ notions of what is important tend to reflect the times and places where they live and work. As times change, new facts emerge and new theories arise.
Until well into the 20th century, written histories tended to focus on the historically male-dominated fields of government and politics, the military and large-scale property ownership. Historically female-dominated roles such as educators, nurses and civic activists didn’t receive as much attention.
Today, we recognize and celebrate women’s achievements in many ways. The Library of Virginia annually selects eight women from the commonwealth who have made important contributions to our world.
Starting June 26, the Sherwood Regional Library is hosting this year’s display. Honorees include Monica Beltran, a Prince William resident honored as the first woman from the Virginia National Guard to receive a Bronze Star for Valor in recognition of heroism under attack in Iraq. Another honoree is Elizabeth Peet McIntosh from Woodbridge. McIntosh was an intelligence agent with the Office of Strategic Services and worked in the Asian theatre during World War II.
The Friends of Sherwood Regional Library will have its annual meeting at 1:00 p.m. July 21. The speaker will be Linda McCarthy, who nominated Ms. McIntosh. Some of you may know Linda McCarthy as a big baseball fan and the author of "Spies, Pop Flies, and French Fries."
We invite our neighbors to attend the July 21 meeting to learn more about the exploits of Betty McIntosh, the Library of Virginia and the work of the Friends of the Sherwood Regional Library. The display is in the first floor lobby and will be there until Aug. 3. If you are interested in women’s history, special operations or just about any other topic, Fairfax County Public Library will have the books you want or the help you need to find other sources of information. Please stop by or visit our website www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library.