Annie Oakley once wrote about her career, "When I started, there was a prejudice to live down." Ladies just did not do the things she did and still remain "ladies."
Except for Annie.
Annie blazed many trails for women and girls. She showed that women could compete in a man's world and still remain feminine. She showed that women could be show business stars without compromising their integrity. She proved that marriage could be a loving partnership of equals. She urged women to participate in sports, particularly outdoor sports that usually were reserved to men. Thus she pioneered the way for women in athletics.
Annie Oakley started from nothing and achieved stardom by hard work, by strength of personality, and by making best use of her talents. And she did it without hurting others. In fact, to the end of her life she was quietly generous to those who were less fortunate.
She was aware of her fame and what it meant. If she seemed extremely protective of her public image, it is because she was conscious of being a trailblazer for women and girls. She knew she was a role model. "Aim at a high mark, work for the future," she said. In the twenty-first century, we can still look up to the example she set for us.
This site has two purposes.
The first is to help support The National Annie Oakley Center at Garst Museum. This is where Annie Oakley's legacy really lives on, through her stories and the historical items she left behind. The second purpose is to help set straight some of the inaccuracies and tall tales that have grown up around this remarkable woman. Check under the FAQs tab to find learn more about Annie Oakely -- the performer and the woman.
Images courtesy of the Darke County Historial Society