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Moina Michael Commemorative Stamp
On Nov. 9, 1948, the U.S. Post Office held first-day-of-issue ceremonies in Athens, Ga. for a 3-cent commemorative stamp honoring Moina Michael. The stamp's release came on the 30th anniversary of the day she conceived of the idea of selling poppies to help care for disabled soldiers and their families.
Born in the Walton County community of Good Hope on Aug. 15, 1869, she attended Lucy Cobb Institute and the Georgia State Teachers College--both in Athens--and Columbia University. On Nov. 9, 1918--two days before the armistice was signed ending World War I--Michael was reading the Ladies Home Journal and saw a poem entitled "We Shall Not Sleep" (which was later called "In Flanders Fields") written by Col. John McCrae:
Moved by what she read, Michael took a pen and wrote the following poem in response:
Thus was born the idea of selling memorial poppies to assist disabled veterans and their families. The movement caught on, and for the rest of her life Michael was known as the "Poppy Lady." During her life she received many awards and recognitions. She died in Athens on May 10, 1944. Four years later, the Post Office issued a commemorative stamp in her memory. In 1969, the Georgia General Assembly designated the stretch of U.S. highway 78 between Athens and Monroe as the Moina Michael Highway.
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