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December 14, 2012

Friday Finds: Hoover's small trove of hand-drawn and painted Christmas cards from World War I

Hand-drawn and painted Christmas cards
Hand-drawn and painted Christmas card from the papers of Catherine Sylvia Bastin.

With the holiday season upon us, what a pleasant surprise to find a small trove of hand-drawn and painted Christmas cards. The cards, beautiful in their detail, came from the papers of an American Red Cross nurse who served during World War I, Catherine Sylvia Bastin. Part of a humanitarian group of thirty-three doctors and seventy-five nurses known as the Chicago Corps, Bastin sailed to England on June 13, 1915, to aid the war effort, almost three years before the United States declared war. Bastin then served as a nurse in hospitals in England and France through the end of the war in 1919. The cards and drawings show a human side to the conflict, a desire to celebrate life during the darkest of times. Wishing you all a peaceful and happy holiday!