Date with History: The Woman All Spies Fear (Virtual)

Event Details

Thu, Mar 17, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:

Online Event

1s151 Winfield Rd.
Wheaton, IL 60189
  • This event has passed.

Virtual Date With History
Thursday, March 17
6:00 PM CST Online via Zoom
Free Event but Registration Required


The Woman All Spies Fear: Code Breaker Elizebeth Smith Friedman and Her Hidden Life

In the summer of 1916, a young woman from Indiana set out to solve a mystery that involved an oddball millionaire, a volume of Shakespeare’s plays, and the secret world of codes and ciphers. Within a year, she had transformed herself into one of America’s top code breakers.

During World War I, Elizebeth Smith Friedman cracked thousands of messages, but that was only the beginning of her brilliant career. In the 1920s and 1930s, she pitted her wits against the mob. When World War II broke out, she hunted Nazi spies.

Despite her fame, she was a woman of many secrets, and later she was pushed into the shadows. To get the true measure of her hidden life, you must delve deep, the way a code breaker would.  In this talk, award-winning historian Amy Butler Greenfield sifts the truth from the misdirections and myths, revealing new aspects of this astonishing woman’s hidden life. Image Courtesy of the George C. Marshall Foundation.

MEET THE SPEAKER: Amy Butler Greenfield writes acclaimed books about history, art, science, and spies, including The Woman All Spies Fear, a biography of code-breaking pioneer Elizebeth Smith Friedman. Her work has been published in nine languages. An enthusiastic and experienced speaker, Amy has appeared on radio and television, including PBS’s American Experience. She also has given popular talks at the International Spy Museum, the Los Angeles Public Library, and UK intelligence agency GCHQ. Visit her at amybutlergreenfield.com.



Are you a teacher?

Illinois teachers can earn 1.5 PD credits for watching the presentation and filling out a short PD activity.

Step 1: Register for the webinar above.

Step 2: Register to be on the teacher list for the PD activity and ISBE forms.

This program includes built-in closed captioning through Zoom.