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- Aloha Eagles Papers
Aloha Eagles Papers, 1964-1973
Aloha Pearl Brown was born on November 8, 1916, in Duluth, Minnesota. She grew up in Crosby, Minnesota, and graduated from Crosby-Ironton High School. She attended nursing school in Duluth for one year before graduating from Hibbing (Minnesota) Junior College. She also attended the University of Minnesota for one year.
She married Donald E. Eagles (1916-1980) on August 10, 1939, in Carlton, Minnesota. The couple moved to Fargo in 1942, and had two children: Donald and Keehn. Campaigning as a Republican, she won a seat in the North Dakota House of Representatives for District 21 in November 1966.
She served in the House until 1984, and is probably best known for introducing legislation to liberalize North Dakota abortion laws. In 1969, she introduced House Bill 319, which would have legalized abortion in cases of rape, incest, or if the mother's health was in danger. The bill also allowed for abortion if the child would have been born with serious physical or mental defects.
Her bill elicited scorn from some North Dakotans, and she became the target of death threats and hate mail. State troopers were temporarily assigned to protect her. The bill failed in the House by a vote of 52-42. When she reintroduced the bill in 1971 (House Bill 1500), it was defeated by a vote of 85-15.
Eagles was also known for advocating for the construction of a women's prison, and her efforts in the areas of youth drug and alcohol abuse. In 1973, she authored a resolution (House Concurrent Resolution 3009) in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment. The resolution was defeated by one vote in the House.
Eagles was an active member of the Fargo Chapter of the League of Women Voters, as well as the North Dakota League of Women Voters. She was also a member of the PEO, the Shrine Crippled Children's Auxiliary, Church Women United, and the Community Action Agency. She was named the North Dakota Woman of the Year in 1973, and was presented with the University of North Dakota Law Woman's Award in 1976.
Aloha Eagles died on February 22, 1992, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.