Clara Barton

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Almost all Americans have learned about the iconic people in American history including George Washington, Thomas Edison, and Abraham Lincoln. Although all of them deserve their recognition, they aren’t the only ones who have changed history. Many Americans, not just a select few, changed history and created the America we know today. One in particular is Clarissa Harlowe Barton, who went by the name of Clara. At the time Clara lived, women were still considered inferior to men. Throughout her work, she faced much sexism, but she worked past it and created a legacy for herself. Also occurring during her life was the Civil War, which she was a very helpful part of. Clara’s most well known achievement is her founding of the American Red Cross. In addition to that, Clara also established the nation’s first free public school in Bordentown, New Jersey, worked as a field nurse during the Civil War, and supported the movement for women’s suffrage. Barton has received little recognition for her efforts, but the work she did is still being continued today at the American Red Cross where they give relief to the victims 70,000 every year. By understanding her life and the work she did, people are able to realize the impact she had on the world, for it far exceeds that of which she is recognized with.

The youngest of five children, Barton learned much of her knowledge from her older siblings. At age 15, she started teaching at a school in Massachusetts. After spending some time at an advanced school for female teachers, Barton created the nation’s first free public school in Bordentown, New Jersey, which enrolled 600 students in its first year open. Unfortunately for Barton, a male principal was hired to her school and received double t...

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...early years of the organization. Not only does the American Red Cross help large communities after disasters, but individual families are helped as well. One of the many beautiful stories is when the Red Cross helped a Holocaust survivor named Saul Dreier find his family. Saul had been held at Schindler’s Camp during the Holocaust. After being freed, he thought that he was the only member of his family still alive. With the Red Cross’s help, he was able to find his family, a great gift for one who went through such a terrible tragedy. All of these stories, though, and all of the disaster relief given would not have been possible had Miss Clara Barton not went through grueling work to create the American Red Cross. Every life saved and every community rebuilt goes back to Clara Barton and shows just how important her life is to American history, and America today.
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