Join the Celebration of Dr. Mary Walker in Oswego June 8

May 10, 2024

The Oswego Town Historical Society and the Oswego County Historical Society partner with the National Women’s History Museum and the U.S. Mint to honor Dr. Mary Edwards Walker. The free event begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 8 at Oswego High School’s Robinson-Faust Theater, 2 Buccaneer Blvd., Oswego.

A native of Oswego Town, Dr. Walker was a Civil War surgeon, women’s rights activist and abolitionist. She was the second woman to obtain a medical degree in the United States and is the only female recipient (to date) of the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor.

Dr. Walker was selected by the U.S. Mint as one of five women celebrated in its 2024 American Women Quarters Program, which recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of trailblazing women who have helped shape American history and pave the way for generations to come. The other four women include: Reverend Dr. Pauli Murray, the Honorable Patsy Takemoto Mink, Celia Cruz, and Zitkala-Ša.

A quarter featuring Dr. Walker’s image, which will be released later in June, will be distributed to attendees at the June 8 event while supplies last. It shows Dr. Walker holding her pocket surgical kit with the Medal of Honor and surgeon’s pin on her uniform.

The event features a ceremony, which includes the unveiling of the Dr. Mary Walker quarter, living history interpreters, a performance by Oswego High School student musicians and a panel of distinguished speakers.

Program participants include Oswego Town Historian George DeMass along with Charles Hastings, foundation and special programs manager for the Whitman-Walker Foundation; Phebe Hemphill, medallic artist for the U.S. Mint and designer of the Dr. Walker Quarter; Jennifer Herrera, vice president of external affairs for the National Women’s History Museum; Michele Thompson, chief of the program management office and program lead for the American Women Quarters Program for the U.S. Mint; Sharon McPike, public affairs specialist in the office of corporate communications for the U.S. Mint; and Kathie Barnes, performer of the one-woman show, “Independence: The True Story of Dr. Mary Walker.”

Descendants of Dr. Mary Walker will travel from across the U.S. to attend, and there will be a special presentation for the family at the ceremony.

Representatives from the river’s end bookstore, the Oswego County Historical Society, the Oswego Town Historical Society, Fort Ontario State Historic Site and Oswego County Tourism will also have information and handouts available at the event.

Other organizations that will be in attendance include the National Women’s History Museum, the U.S. Army, the Whitman-Walker Health Clinic of Washington, D.C., and the Smithsonian Institution. Local, state and federal representatives will also be on hand.

Registration for the free event is required for planning purposes; however, no one will be turned away. To register, visit https://events.womenshistory.org/events/historic-change-dr-mary-edwards-walker/.

Dr Mary Walker rev

CELEBRATE DR. MARY EDWARDS WALKER ON JUNE 8- The Oswego Town Historical Society and the Oswego County Historical Society co-host an event with the U.S. Mint to celebrate the release of the Dr. Mary Edwards Walker quarter. Dr. Mary Walker (pictured) was one of five women selected by the U.S. Mint for its American Women Quarters Program in recognition of her accomplishments and contributions to history. The event takes place on Saturday, June 8 at 2 p.m. at Oswego High School’s Robinson-Faust Theater, 2 Buccaneer Blvd., Oswego. Photo courtesy of the Oswego Town Historical Society.