Readers Respond to the March 2022 Issue

Your feedback on the excavations at Troy and the development of the whooping cough vaccine

Carrying the Torch

In his column (“Powerful Currency,” March 2022), Secretary Bunch mentioned that Sally Ride stood on the shoulders of women who came before her, and he also pointed to the forthcoming Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum. This initiative stands on the 20-plus years of work by the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM), which has lobbied Congress, provided educational programs to millions and privately funded the women’s museum congressional commission. I am proud that our efforts helped the nation recognize the many roles of women and the significance of their contributions. I wish the board of the American Women’s History Museum great success in carrying the torch forward.

—Joan Wages | President Emerita, NWHM

Beyond the Trojan Horse

I am thrilled that research and excavation are ongoing (“In Search of Troy,” March 2022), revealing more of the truths of the ancient city. I do hope the museum is successful in its quest to regain artifacts taken from the site, if only to make the picture of the history of Troy more complete.

—Elizabeth Darrach | Lancaster, Pennsylvania

The caption of spinning whorls on Page 39 is misleading. Spinning whorls are used to twist (spin) fibers into a continuous thread or yarn. Once the thread or yarn is spun it has various uses, one of which is weaving using a loom.

—Roslyn J. Hahn | Warren, Ohio

Investing in Public Health

Thank you for yet another forgotten story in public health (“The Undaunted,” March 2022). It showcases the effects of inclusion and diversity and of welcoming all who can contribute. This tribute recalled how women scientists persevered and brought reason, science and results to the world, despite the skepticism of many, mostly men. We, as Americans, must invest in public health.

—Stephen Crane | Palm Springs, California

Thank you so much for your article on the creation of the whooping cough vaccine. I shudder to think where we would be today regarding diseases such as pertussis, smallpox and polio, to name a few, if the opposition to vaccines were as great then as it is today.

—Mark Herzog | Rockville Centre, New York

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This article is a selection from the April/May issue of Smithsonian magazine