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Experience Women's Westward Journey at Center Program
South Dakota Ag Connection - 03/14/2019

Celebrate Women's History Month at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre by attending a program featuring women's experiences on the journey westward. Molly Rozum, an associate professor of history at the University of South Dakota, will share insights into the women who took part in the trek west at 7 p.m. CDT on March 26 at the Cultural Heritage Center.

More than 350,000 Americans crossed the continental United States between 1840 and 1870. Many went west to claim free land in Oregon and California, or to strike it rich by mining gold and silver.

Everyone is welcome to attend the free program that is part of the History and Heritage Book Club. Rozum will draw on information from the book "Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey," by Lillian Schlissel. It contains the diaries, reminiscences and letters of 103 women who made the almost 2,400-mile journey west from jumping-off places along the Missouri River.

"March is Women's History Month, a month-long celebration of women's contributions to society and history. From the accounts of the women who traveled west, we gain a clearer idea of what has gone into the making of American women, and what women have contributed to the making of America," said Catherine Forsch, president of the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation. The foundation is the nonprofit fundraising partner of the South Dakota State Historical Society and a sponsor of the History and Heritage Book Club.

Rozum previously spoke to the History and Heritage Book Club in May 2018 about her article on sod houses that was published in "South Dakota History," the quarterly journal of the South Dakota State Historical Society. She and Laurie Lahlum of Minnesota State University -- Mankato are in the process of compiling and editing an anthology of essays highlighting the woman's suffrage movements of Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. The book will be published by the South Dakota Historical Society Press this fall.

"Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey" is sold at the Heritage Stores at the Cultural Heritage Center and the Capitol.

Please call 605-773-6006 for more information about the program.

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