American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation

One more we missed yesterday-

Posted by Matt Cipriano | No Comments

From Super Soldier we move to Super Spy:

Yesterday was the birthday of one of America’s top female spies, she would have been 95. Monday marked the three year anniversary of her passing.

In 1941, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Julia McWilliams attempted to join the Navy, but was turned down because of her height (at 6′2″, she was deemed to tall). Following her rejection from the Navy she joined the US Office of Strategic Services (the agency that, essentially, gave birth to the CIA).

During her time at the OSS Julia McWilliams worked in DC as a file clerk (she also helped develop a shark repellent), Sri Lanka and China, where she received the Emblem of Meritorious Civilian Service as head of the Registry of the OSS Secretariat. While in the OSS she also met her husband Paul Child, they married in 1946 and moved to France in 1948.

We are all the more fortunate for their move to France, as Julia Child describes her first meal in Rouen as a Culinary revelation. 3 short years later, after attending Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and studying under some master chefs, Child and two of her friends were teaching cooking classes out of their kitchens and working on a French cook book for Americans. Unfortunately it took 10 years before the book got published, but, once it did, she was a hit.

As we all know, Julia Child became a cooking icon, possibly one of the first celebrity chefs, with a plethora of books, cooking shows, magazine articles and guest appearances, almost everybody knows who Julia Child is. Oh yeah, and in 1981 she founded the American Institute of Wine and Food, you know, in her spare time.


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