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It wouldn’t be National Doctors’ Day celebration without paying tribute to Clara Barton

According to the American Red Cross, Clara, who was born Clarissa Harlowe Barton, began teaching school at a time when most teachers were men, and she was among the first women to gain employment in the federal government. Her start in medicine began during the Civil War, when Clara was working in the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C.  As wounded men came into the city, Clara saw the need for supplies and care for the troops. 

As time went on, she grew to understand the problem even more, and was eventually successful in petitioning to go onto the battlefield to treat the injured troops. Clara was known as the "Angel of the Battlefield" across Virginia, where her medical services assisted doctors and surgeons whose resources were already stretched thin.  

After the Civil War, Clara traveled to Europe, where she sought a brief rest after so many years of turmoil.  However, her relaxation was short lived - she learned of the International Red Cross, and of those needing help on the battlefield in the Franco-Prussian War.  True to her character, Clara joined the International Red Cross in their efforts, pinning a handmade red cross ribbon to her jacket and helping the wounded.  When Clara returned to the United States, she influenced Congress, and the first Congressional charter of the Red Cross was issued in 1900!

March is Women’s History Month! To celebrate, we’re spotlighting our exchange alumni, famous stories, and unsung heroes. These women have shown us all that #ItOnlyTakesOne to raise the bar, set a new standard, or make a positive impact. Share your favorite stories for Women’s History Month with us on social media by tagging them with #ItOnlyTakesOne.

Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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