Sharon McMahon on Jan. 6: 'We will remember this day for the rest of American history'

a woman poses for a photo
Duluth-based Sharon McMahon is known as "America's history teacher" due to her viral Instagram account, @SharonSaysSo, where she debunks myths and shares facts about how government works.
Courtesy of Sharon McMahon

Sharon McMahon is known by some as “America’s government teacher.” She used to be a high school civics teacher in Duluth, Minn., but after the 2020 election, she went viral as a go-to source on government, current events and history. Her Instagram handle is @SharonSaysSo, and she has over 700,000 followers who call themselves “Gover-nerds.”

On the one-year anniversary of the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, McMahon examined the events of that day with host Cathy Wurzer.

"We will remember this day for the rest of American history,” McMahon said.

McMahon recalled staying up until 3 a.m., glued to coverage of the crisis at the Capitol. “[I] felt like I was witnessing acts of domestic terrorism,” she said. “Some people had intentions … to circumvent the principles of democracy, to circumvent the rule of law.”

“The rule of law must take precedence over a desired political outcome,” McMahon added, because “without the rule of law, we have tyranny.”

McMahon expressed worry that there may be a movement to brush this historical moment under the rug for reasons of political expediency, but she remained hopeful that Americans will put the facts and rule of law over party affiliation.

What’s one moment that stands out to McMahon from that day? Hearing that the congressional chambers were being cleaned after relative calm had returned to the Capitol so that lawmakers could return to work.

“It was somebody’s job to clean up the glass” so that the work of democracy could continue, McMahon said, moved.

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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