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Oral History Interview with Martha C. McKay, March 29, 1974. Interview A-0324. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Women's rights activist and Democratic Party advocate Martha McKay describes her work with the North Carolina Women's Political Caucus (NCWPC) and its lobby for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in 1973. That year, the ERA went before the North Carolina General Assembly for ratification. Because of the active lobbying campaign of the NCWPC, the ERA was expected to pass through the North Carolina Senate following a vote by Governor James Holshouser that would break an anticipated 25-25 stalemate. McKay describes how Senators Gordon Allen and Mike Mullins changed their votes at the last moment, effectively defeating the ERA that year. McKay also discusses the organization of opposition to the ERA, focusing specifically on the role of external funding, the influence of Phyllis Schlafly, the position of North Carolina judges Susie Sharp and Naomi Morris, and the impact of media coverage. Finally, McKay briefly discusses "typical" pro- and anti-ERA women and the impact of the defeat on the NCWPC.
  • Defeat of the ERA in the North Carolina General Assembly, 1973
  • ERA narrowly defeated at the last minute in North Carolina
  • Prediction for lobbying for the ERA in 1975
  • Governor Holshouser and the ERA
  • ERA necessary to guarantee legal equality
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  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • North Carolina--Politics and government
  • Women political activists--North Carolina
  • Women's rights--North Carolina
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.