March 1920 was a traumatic month for Marie Bankhead Owen. It began with the death of her influential father, Senator John Hollis Bankhead, and it ended with the sudden death of her fifty-three-year-old husband, Thomas McAdory Owen, founding director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH). Then on April 1 she accepted an appointment as the second director of ADAH, a position she held for over three decades. Thus, in the space of one month, Marie Bankhead Owen lost her father and her husband and began a thirty-five year career as director of the Alabama archives.



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