The History of NM’s Historic Women Marker Program

From potters to political game changers, women have been shaping New Mexico history for centuries. However while NM’s Historic Roadside Markers program began in 1935, as of 1996 it was unclear how many women had been so recognized. That year Patricia French, after stopping to read a historic marker on the Santa Fe trail, wondered out-loud to her friends Beverly Duran and Alexis Girard, how many women had been mentioned? 

They found out the answer was only 1 woman out of 500 markers and launched an effort to put the record straight. Now the New Mexico Historic Women Marker Initiative highlights the accomplishments of more than 100 women. How exactly does one explain this disparity, what did Patricia French and her colleagues do to change the Program, and who are the women now recognized on State markers? 

New Mexico People Place and Ideas host Stephen Spitz will put those and related questions to Patricia French this Friday at 8:00 am.

Produced with assistance of Gus Tafoya, and Roman Garcia.

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