I am a retired school teacher and community college instructor whose passion is Colorado women's history. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado Boulder in 1976 and master's degrees in United States History (1987) and public history (2002) from the University of Colorado Denver.

     My first book is Colorado Women: A History, published by University Press of Colorado (2012). I am currently working on another book and giving book talks across the state. Please contact me if you are interested in a talk on Colorado women's history.


     When I was a high school US History teacher, I developed the character "Gail Murphy: Colorado's Rosie the Riveter" to portray women's war work and the home front during World War II for my sophomore students. Since then I have performed this one-woman act to numerous students (ranging from middle school to college level), and adult organizations and groups. These presentations have occurred at schools, churches, country clubs, restaurants, businesses, libraries, museums, and private homes. This presentation is part of the Chautauqua Speakers Bureau of the Colorado Humanities. For a nominal fee, you may schedule me for a presentation. To do so, please email me. The program is 35-45 minutes followed by a question and answer period in which the audience may ask questions of Gail Murphy, the munitions worker. Lastly, I will answer questions as the historian behind the character of Miss Murphy.


NEWS! I have a new presentation, "Sarah Platt Decker and Colorado's Women's Clubs." Mrs. Decker was the first president of the Denver Woman's Club and a two-time president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. A suffragist, reformer, and advocate for women, children, and working people, Mrs. Decker was mentioned as a possible US Senate candidate prior to falling ill and suddenly dying in 1912. The federated clubs were key figures in the establishment of three-fourths of our nation's libraries and a host of progressive reforms including labor laws concerning women and children and our national parks system. Mrs. Decker has made her debut and is available for presentations.

AND MORE NEWS! On November 11, 2017, I will be portraying Sarah Riley Ashley at the Byers-Evans House Museum. Ashley, like Sarah Decker, was an important suffragist, reformer, and clubwoman. In conjunction with the house museum's exhibit "Carrying the Torch: Colorado Women During World War I," I will discuss the contributions of the women's clubs prior to and during the war. Reservations are required. Call the Byers-Evans House Museum for more information.



© 2014 Gail M. Beaton