“ANYTHING YOU CAN DO I CAN DO BETTER”
So sings Ethel Merman as cowgirl Annie Oakley in the 1946 Broadway musical hit “Annie Get Your Gun”. “I can shoot a partridge with a single cartridge”, Annie assures her competition cowboy Frank Butler. “I can drink my liquor faster than a flicker”, she proclaims. “No you can’t”, cowboy Frank retorts. “Yes I can,” she insists. And, in fact, she can.
Today, Annie doesn’t need to yodel her accomplishments to the world because she has the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame to do it for her. The museum’s mission statement, while perhaps a bit more pragmatic than Annie’s proclamations, rises to the task at hand all the same. “The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame honors and celebrates women, past and present, whose lives exemplify the courage, resilience, and independence that helped shape the American West, and fosters an appreciation of the ideals and spirit of self-reliance they inspire.” Done! And not a single word that required musical backup. Still have your doubts cowboys? Well, seeing is believing. The museum’s collection includes over 10,000 artifacts and photographs that help tell the stories of outstanding women like Patsy Cline, rancher Fern Sawyer, athlete Jan Youren, and musician Maria Martinez. Boots, spurs, saddles, and rodeo paraphernalia join the extensive documentation to provide a distinct picture of the American cowgirl and her accomplishments.