Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon
Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below
A Door Opens
Melvin Butler, the personnel officer at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, had a problem, the scope and nature of which was made plain in a May 1943 telegram to the civil service’s chief of field operations. “This establishment has urgent need for approximately 100 Junior Physicists and Mathematicians, 100 Assistant Computers, 75 Minor Laboratory Apprentices, 125 Helper Trainees, 50 Stenographers and Typists,” exclaimed the missive. Every morning at 7:00 a.m., the bow-tied Butler and his staff sprang to life, dispatching the lab’s station wagon to the local rail depot, the bus station, and the ferry terminal to collect the men and woman-so many women now, each day more women-who had made their way to the lonely finger of land on the Virginia coast. The shuttle conveyed the recruits to the door of the laboratory’s service building on the campus of Langley Field. Upstairs, Butler’s staff whisked them through the first-day stations: forms, photos, and the oath of office: I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…so help me God.