A Southerner who made a career working for the Maine-based Gannett newspaper chain, Washington correspondent Elisabeth May Adams Craig (1889-1975) covered World War II with the same keen eye and sharp tongue that informed her daily "Inside in Washington" column for nearly fifty years. When not anchored in the nation's capital, Craig provided her Maine readership with eyewitness accounts of V-bomb raids in London, the Normandy campaign, the liberation of Paris, and other events.
Craig's devotion to the news business extended to leadership roles in the Women's National Press Club and Eleanor Roosevelt's Press Conference Association, two organizations founded to promote female journalists. The former suffragist also spearheaded countless initiatives to raise the professional status of female news correspondents in the corridors of official power and the capital press corps.
Although Craig herself singlehandedly overturned more than one military rule designed to keep women out of planes and off of ships, even she could not always convince male officials that women could "rough" it if required. Late in her career Craig noted wryly that "Bloody Mary of England once said that when she died they would find `Calais' graven on her heart" (a reference to a key French outpost lost during Mary's reign). "When I die, there will be the word `facilities,' so often it has been used to prevent me from doing what men reporters could do."
Craig's War Reporting
May Craig, "What It's Like Overseas" c. March 1945, May Craig Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (49)
An Eye on Post-War Politics
May Craig, "McCarthy Backers March on Capital,"Portland Press Herald, November, 1954.