How easy it is for American culture to forget a whole generation of women who entered the workforce in the late 1960s.
Liberated from traditional homemaker roles, sometimes after significant negotiations with their husbands, these well-educated mothers started to very tentatively knock on strangers doors to seek advice on how to start a professional career.
And not just any career, but those which lined up with their personal interests rather than simply the default fields of teaching or nursing.
Kathryn Meehan was one of those women. After raising five children, and with her husband’s support, she followed her love of horticulture to the front steps of the Smithsonian on the odd chance anyone would even talk to her, let alone consider her for a positi0n that had never existed at the institution.
Three decades later, Mrs. Meehan retired from SI after a long career as Assistant Chief of Horticulture, and moved permanently to the Meehan second home in Quaker Neck ten years ago to be closer to her now lawyer sons and finish a lifelong effort to document her historic work of public gardens.
In our Spy interview, Kathryn recalls those early years for her generation, her time at the Smithsonian, and, of course, love of gardening.
This video is approximately five minutes in length