Dr. Mary Walker, Congressional Medal of Honor Winner

  • When: Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
  • Where: New York State Library, Location: NYSL, 7th floor Librarian's Room
  • Cost: Free
  • Age limit: 18+
  • Categories: Lectures

Location: 7th floor Librarian's Room
Sponsored by the Friends of the New York State Library

In 1865, Oswego, New York native, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was the first woman awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for her contributions as a surgeon during the Civil War. Moreover, she is the only woman in history to receive the award. Shortly after receiving her doctor of medicine degree in 1855 from Syracuse Medical College, Dr. Walker began practicing medicine in Rome, New York. When the war was waging and because the Union Army refused to hire women doctors, she went to Washington to volunteer as a nurse in the Union and then headed to Virginia to provide medical aid for the wounded. She was temporarily appointed surgeon in an Ohio Regiment. Later, she was contracted as acting assistant surgeon with the Ohio 52nd Infantry. By 1865, Dr. Walker was recognized for her war efforts and awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. However, in 1917, her name was removed from the honor list due to a reappraisal in the terms of eligibility for the award. Proud physician and advocate for women’s rights, Dr. Mary Walker refused to return the medal and, instead, wore it the rest of her life. Join the Friends of the New York State Library and Oswego Town Historian George DeMass for a lunchtime talk on Congressional Medal of Honor Winner, Dr. Mary Walker. Registration is recommended.


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