Congressman Salud Carbajal delivered a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives Thursday morning to celebrate the 100th birthday of Arroyo Grande resident Ruth Weakley.
Weakley was one of the first women to drive a rural postal route beginning in 1943 during World War II.
Carbajal shared Weakley’s story in his speech:
I rise today, during Women’s History Month, to recognize Ruth Weakley of Arroyo Grande on her 100th birthday.
During World War Two, with many of America’s young men serving overseas, positions that had traditionally been held by men began to open their doors to women.
While Ruth’s husband Harry was away serving in the Army Air Force, Ruth became one of a small number of women driving rural postal routes. She drove this route in Los Angeles County for nearly two years during the war, resigning when her husband returned from military service in December of 1945.
Contributions like hers were both critical to the nation’s war effort, and to reshaping the role women have in our workforce. From the Postal Service to wartime manufacturing, women took on positions that had not previously been open to them, rewriting the narrative on what women were capable of.
Today, over 70 years after Ruth’s time with the Postal Service, and on her 100th birthday, I thank her for her service to this nation, and to women everywhere.