Letter: Remembering the Value and Importance of Women

Dear Editor,

In 1981 Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Representative Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) co-sponsored the first joint Congressional Resolution proclaiming a Women’s History Week. In 1987 Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 designating the month of March as Women’s History Month.

Why is it important to shine a light on the need for equal rights and recognition for women? For many years the rights of women have not been recognized equally and in this country women have been able to vote in elections for only one hundred years. The suffragists who fought long and hard to obtain that vote deserve to be an important part of history which is taught and remembered by all citizens. (Did you know – the Wyoming Territory was the first to grant women the vote!)

Women’s History Month celebrates women trailblazers, legislators, leaders, and all who have contributed to making the United States a place for all young girls to strive to achieve whatever goals they set for themselves. The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution honors not only those who have descended from the patriots of the American Revolutionary War, but all women who remain committed to the freedoms of our democracy and equal rights for all.

In particular this month I remember and honor my GGG grandmother, a Cherokee woman called “Belle Ann” who gave up her two daughters for adoption when she and many families were forced to leave their homeland of North Carolina on the “Trail of Tears” – walking west for 800 miles and enduring extreme weather, disease and starvation and eventually costing thousands of lives. I don’t know what ultimately became of Belle Ann, but I know that her commitment to her daughters to give them up for adoption to a white couple ensured my ability to be here today. Thank you, Belle Ann for your sacrifice; you are a wonderful example of a mother and a leader.

Happy Women’s History Month!

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is a nonprofit, nonpolitical women’s service organization dedicated to preserving the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American independence.

Sharon McMahon


Past Regent, Historian

Chair, American Indians Committee Horseshoe Prairie Chapter, NSDAR