Hutchins was born in Snohomish,
Washington in 1910 and developed
an independent spirit as a child. Her divorced mother was a worker and agitator
for suffrage for women, her stepfather a maritime worker blacklisted on the
west coast for striking. Evelyn moved to New
York as a young woman to be a dancer, but wound up in
sleazy burlesque clubs when the Depression forced her to accept any work.
in the school of hard knocks, she demanded respect as a feminist. When the
Spanish Civil War broke out, she drove trucks to collect clothing and other
humanitarian aid to ship to Spain,
and when the call for recruits for the American Medical Bureau went out in late
1936, she volunteered to be an ambulance driver. However, the organizers
considered her unqualified for the risky work because she was a woman. Hutchins
continued to agitate for the opportunity and eventually convinced them to send
her to Spain.
There she served courageously as a truck driver, experiencing dangerous combat
conditions on many occasions.
the war, the Yale
University sociologist Dr.
John Dollard interviewed Hutchins as part of a study on the meaning of fear in
battle; his published work was used by the U.S. Army for morale training during
World War II.
interview, conducted around 1942, is excerpted and available in ALBA's website resources.
ALB Archival Materials
Evelyn Hutchins, truck driver, in Spain.
Full Database Record