First Woman Admitted to Naval Academy at Annapolis

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NBC Nightly News
David Brinkley/Carole Simpson
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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The Naval Academy has been forced to accept women, but women are still not allowed to serve on combat ships in the Navy.



"First Woman Admitted to Naval Academy at Annapolis." Carole Simpson, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 6 July 1976. NBC Learn. Web. 16 January 2015.


Simpson, C. (Reporter), & Brinkley, D. (Anchor). (1976, July 6). First Woman Admitted to Naval Academy at Annapolis. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from


"First Woman Admitted to Naval Academy at Annapolis" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 07/06/1976. Accessed Fri Jan 16 2015 from NBC Learn:


First Woman Admitted to Naval Academy at Annapolis

David Brinkley

, anchor:  The law does not allow women to serve combat ships in the Navy, but it does require that they be admitted into the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and today they were.  The Air Force Academy took its first women at the Navy today and the Army at West Point tomorrow.  Carol Simpson is in Annapolis today.

Carole Simpson,

reporting:  Among the 80 women accepted to the Naval Academy was 18-year-old Sandra Erwin, she is an A student from Livermore, California.  Last November she decided to become a Naval Officer.  At 6:30 this morning Sandra and 1,300 other incoming mid-ship men began the long induction process. 

Naval Cadet:  All of you are gonna go to the multi-purpose gym which is gonna be to the left Mrs. Erwin you are gonna go to a different place near the men’s locker room, you are gonna receive your uniform there. 


:  The Navy’s only concession to the women was to build separate rest rooms and locker rooms.  Sandra and the other women are expected to go through the same academic and physical programs as the men.  In four years they are supposed to be prepared to command ships or aircraft for possible combat.  But according to the law women are not allowed to serve in combat.  And for that reason a lot of the men resent the fact that women like Sandra are here.

Naval Cadet #2:  Well I don’t think they should be here at all, the way the academy works, it’s set up for combat officers, and the way Congress has it now, they will not let women serve as combat officers.  I think it is a waste of a lot of money.

SANDRA IRWIN:  Now that the girls are able to go to the academy I don’t think it is fair that the men be singled out to do combat and not the women too.  If we are gonna go we’ll might as well go all the way.


:  Even though the combat issue remains a sore point, and the men have been told not to give the women special treatment, it would be pretty tough for an ex-football hero not to help the homecoming princess in distress.  Carol Simpson, NBC News, Indianapolis.