Officer's identification card, No. 296054, for Mrs. Antoinette Frissell Bacon, photographer for the American Red Cross

The Allies' final push in the spring and summer of 1945 brought World War II to a close. With the war's end came social and economic pressure in the United States to return to "normalcy". Actively recruited into "male" careers in wartime, women were expected to make room for returning veterans and male colleagues. The ranks of newswomen thinned out, and seasoned newswomen who had proved their competence faced demotion. By 1968 there were actually fewer female foreign correspondents than in the pre-war years.

In spite of pressure on women to give up their jobs after the war, the seeds of permanent change had been planted. Women began to question social and economic rules and demand equal access to educational and career options. By the 1980s, women had entered professional schools and careers--including journalism--in record numbers.

Like their counterparts in every profession, today's female journalists have benefitted from the willingness of their predecessors to bend and break rules designed to narrow women's opportunities. The women who are now at the top of the profession or on their way up the ladder owe a debt to all those earlier women who "came to the front" and cleared the path to success.