Monday, December 8, 2014

This Day in Christian History: December 8

This Day in Christian History: December 8

December 8, 1907: Christmas Seals sold for the first time

Emily Bissel 1907
Why is this Christian history? Because the first Christmas seals ever sold were to raise funds to fight tuberculosis. At the time, Tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in America.

Born in Deleware during the Civil War, Emily Bissel was an interesting personality. She testified against the women's suffrage movement stating "The vote is part of man's work. Ballot-box, cartridge box, jury box, sentry box all go together in his part of life. Women cannot step in and take the responsibilities and duties of voting with assuming his place very largely."

Several years later, Emily felt drawn to help in the fight against tuberculosis. She came up with the idea for Christmas Seals and sold them at post offices for a penny each. It took some persistence, but eventually the charity took off. Still today, the Christmas Seals raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for disease-fighting organizations. Today, most of the revenues go to the American Lung Association.