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"E" is for Earley, Charity Edna Adams

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  “E” is for Earley, Charity Edna Adams [1918-2002], army officer. Earley grew up in Columbia where she was valedictorian of her class at Booker T. Washington High School. She won a scholarship to Wilberforce College in Ohio where she majored in math and physics. She returned to Columbia where she taught school. In 1942 she joined the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and became the first black female officer to receive her commission in the WACs. By war's end she was a lieutenant colonel and the second highest-ranking black female officer in the WACs. The Smithsonian named her one of the 110 most important historical black women in America. In 1989, she published her autobiography, One Woman's Army and in 1991 Charity Edna Adams Earley was elected to the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.