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History Revealed: Booth Hospital

March 22, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Ramsey County Historical Society Presents

Kim Heikkila, To Bear the Mark: Unwed Motherhood at the Salvation Army’s Booth Memorial Hospital, 1913-1973 (or, History, My Mother, and Me)

History Revealed Series
March 22, 2018
Thursday, 7:00 pm
Ramsey County Roseville Library

Free and open to all.

Join RCHS for History Revealed, our program series featuring presentations and tours from the best of local historians, authors and archaeologists, with a wide range of topics drawn from the heritage and traditions of Ramsey County.

For 75 years, the Salvation Army in St. Paul operated a maternity home and hospital for unwed mothers. Booth Memorial Hospital housed thousands of young women who sought refuge – sometimes willingly, sometimes not — from the public censure that their status usually elicited. In the early twentieth century, mothers were encouraged to keep and raise their babies, but after World War II, public and expert opinion suggested that surrendering these “illegitimate” babies for adoption was the best solution – for mother, baby, and a deserving couple facing infertility. By the 1960s, at the peak of the maternity home movement, approximately 70% of single mothers at Booth relinquished their children for adoption.

Dr. Kim Heikkila’s mother was one of these women; she delivered her first daughter, Dr. Heikkila’s half-sister, at Booth in 1961, surrendered her for adoption, and kept the whole experience a secret for 33 years, until that daughter found her long-lost birth mother.

In this talk, Dr. Heikkila will explore the intersection of her mother’s story with the history of Booth Memorial Hospital and the experiences of seven former “Booth girls” with whom she conducted oral history interviews.

 

Kim Heikkila has a doctorate in American Studies, with a minor in Feminist Studies, from the University of Minnesota. She has written about Booth Memorial Hospital for Ramsey County History and Minnesota History, and has published several personal essays about her mother’s experiences as a birth mother and her own as an adoptive mother. She recently completed an oral history project with former Booth residents, staff, and related personnel, which was sponsored by the Minnesota Independent Scholars Forum with funding from a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage grant. Her first book, Sisterhood of War: Minnesota Women in Vietnam (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2011), was a finalist for a 2012 Minnesota Book Award. She taught U.S. and women’s history at local colleges and universities for more than 10 years before leaving academia to open her own oral history consulting business, Spotlight Oral History.

 

 

History Revealed Program Series

Please note that topics and speakers may change. Check the website and our Facebook page for updates. Click on the links below for more information.
Please also note presentation location and times.

For more information, and a list of upcoming and past History Revealed programs, see the History Revealed page here.

November 30, 2017, Thursday, 7:00 pm – John Watson Milton, For the Good of the Order: Nick Coleman
Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113

January 25, 2018, Thursday, 7:00 pm – Greg Brick, Minnesota Caves: History and Lore
Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113

February 15, 2018, Thursday, 7:00 pm – Steve Werle, The Political Rise, Demise, and Redemption of Harold E. Stassen
Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113

March 22, 2018, Thursday, 7:00 pm – Kim Heikkila, To Bear the Mark: Unwed Motherhood at the Salvation Army’s Booth Memorial Hospital, 1913-1973 (or, History, My Mother, and Me)
Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113

April 26, 2018, Thursday, 7:00 pm – John Diers, 1,100 Streetcars: The Rise and Fall of the Twin City Rapid Transit Company
Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113

May 24, 2018, Thursday, 7:00 pm – Terry Swanson, Elaine Goodale Eastman: Sister to the Sioux in Her Own Words
Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113

 

 

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Details

Date:
March 22, 2018
Time:
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Categories:
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Event Tags:
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Organizer

Ramsey County Historical Society
Phone:
651-222-0701
Email:
info(at)rchs.com
Website:
www.rchs.com

Venue

Ramsey County Library – Roseville
2180 Hamline Ave N
Roseville, MN 55113 United States
+ Google Map
Phone:
(651) 724-6001
Website:
http://www.rclreads.org/