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500 page review Challenge for Memorial Day

A 500 page review Challenge for Memorial Day

This week, in the run up to Memorial Day, we challenge you to #MakeItMeaningful, by helping us review 500 pages from the “Civil War Soldiers: Disabled but not disheartened” campaign. This campaign features entries from the left-handed penmanship competition created by a reformer, poet, editor, and clergyman named William Oland Bourne for Union soldiers who had lost their right hand or arm during the conflict. When you review these pages you'll encounter soldiers' personal accounts of battle and loss, as well as their lives after the war, when they trained themselves to write left-handed and returned to civilian life and work. 

As well as making it meaningful, volunteering your time this week is also an opportunity to learn more about Memorial Day. Did you know that Decoration Day (its forerunner) was established in 1868, just three years after the end of the Civil War? It was started by an organization of Union Soldiers called the Grand Army of the Republic.

And speaking of learning more, we have a special Challenge blog post by Michelle Krowl, a historian and curator in the Manuscript Division. It tells the story of one of the soldiers who entered Bourne’s penmanship contest. Her blog draws on resources here at the Library of Congress and the National Archives. This post was written to inspire you during this Challenge, and as a way for us to mark and reflect upon the significance of Memorial Day. 

Here's a page for you to review!

-Victoria and the By the People team

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