The late 1980s belonged to one woman: Susan Butcher. In 1986 she became the second female winner, the second four-time winner in 1990, and the first person to win four out of five consecutive years. The first Saturday of March is now known as Susan Butcher Day.
Using the Source With Students
- Display the photo for the students and have them share what they See, Think, and Wonder about the photo.
- Tell the students that in the late 1980s and early 1990s the race was dominated by a male/ female rivalry between Susan Butcher and Rick Swenson. Have them check the Iditarod archives to see the winners list for those years.
- This rivalry spurred a t-shirt logo that carries on to this day: “Alaska: Where Men are Men and Women Win the Iditarod.”
- Since this is a special year in race history, maybe it’s time for a new t-shirt logo! Have the students create a t-shirt design and or logo for this race year.
- Granite and Susan Butcher: Hero and Heroine
- Susan Butcher wrote a picture book about her lead dog entitled Granite. Used copies are readily available.
- Remembering 40 Years of Iditarod: The 80s