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Date(s) - 09/20/2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Reinsch Library Auditorium, Marymount University


This event will be on both Zoom and in-person. See details below on both ways to attend. Please note that due to scheduling needs, this event is being held on a Tuesday (Sep 20) not on our usual Thursdays.

Best-selling author, Nathalia Holt will talk about four women who were critical in helping build the new organization now known as the CIA–including Adelaide Hawkins, who made Arlington her home starting in World War II.

Hawkins and Mary Hutchison, Eloise Page, and Elizabeth Sudmeier, called the “wise gals” by their male colleagues because of their sharp sense of humor and even quicker intelligence, were smart, courageous, and groundbreaking officers at the top of their class, instrumental in both developing innovative tools for intelligence gathering—and insisting (in their own unique ways) that they receive the credit and pay their expertise deserved.

Throughout the Cold War, each woman continued to play a vital role on the international stage. Hawkins rose through the ranks, developing new cryptosystems that advanced how spies communicate with each other. Hutchison worked overseas in Europe and Asia, building partnerships and allegiances that would last decades. Sudmeier would risk her life in the Middle East in order to gain intelligence on deadly Soviet weaponry. Page would wield influence on scientific and technical operations worldwide, ultimately exposing global terrorism threats. Through their friendship and shared sense of purpose, they rose to positions of power and were able to make real change in a traditionally “male, pale, and Yale” organization—but not without some tragic losses and real heartache along the way.

This unique focus on an Arlington CIA officer and her colleagues is a fresh look at just one Arlingtonian who served their country. Meticulously researched and beautifully told, Holt uses firsthand interviews with past and present officials and declassified government documents to uncover the stories of these four inspirational women. Wise Gals sheds a light on the untold history of the women whose daring foreign intrigues, domestic persistence, and fighting spirit have been and continue to be instrumental to our country’s security.

The book will be on sale at this event.

You can attend this event on either Zoom or in-person on the Marymount University Main Campus.  If you want to attend this event virtually, please use this link to register: Please register by Monday, September 19:  Zoom access information sent to you the morning of the event on Tuesday, September 20.

This program is free and open to the public. This will be held BOTH on Zoom AND in the Reinsch Library Auditorium on the Main Campus of Marymount University. 

  • If you plan to attend via zoom, please register using this LINK by Monday, September 19. On Tuesday morning, September 20, the day of the event, AHS will send you the Zoom access link to use for virtual attendance via Zoom. If you have trouble getting to the link: copy and past this URL into your browser: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdDLINwJVHjiegSH0WPhW2d5T3rL_nmQAWhkOB6i-Vz-tGBlA/viewform?usp=sf_link
  • If you attend the event in person, Marymount University no longer requires you to wear a face mask or social distance.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS and FREE PARKING: Attendees planning to attend the event in-person should enter the Marymount University campus at the library gate on N. 26th Street. From Glebe Road going north, take a right onto 26th Street. Pass the intersection with Yorktown Road and then enter the campus through the next gate on your left. The library is to your left as you enter the campus. Free garage parking is just past the library at the bottom of the small incline. (Handicapped parking is immediately to your right as you enter the campus.)

This event is one of the monthly series of public programs sponsored by the Arlington Historical Society and Marymount University’s Department of History and Politics. For more information, please email: info@arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org

Any changes to this event will first be provided here on this webpage. So look here first for updates.