Dr. Olivia J. Hooker

Recorded November 10, 2018

Languages: N/A
Id: APP538562
“I truly think everyone should do what they can to sustain their country.”  In November 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law a bill that established the United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve. Known as SPARS, this new law allowed women to serve in the Coast Guard Reserve for the duration of World War II plus six months. Two years later, in October 1944, the ban on African American women becoming SPARS was lifted and in February 1945, Olivia Hooker joined four other women as the first class of African American SPARS. In September 2018, Dr. Olivia J. Hooker, 103, sat down for a StoryCorps interview in her Westchester, New York, home with Janis Porter, her goddaughter, to talk about what it was like to be a groundbreaking part of military history, and to share what her time in the service has meant to her. Note: Olivia Hooker died November 21, 2018, shortly after this interview was recorded.