Caroline Ferriday, one of the main characters in my novel, Lilac Girls, was America’s first “Poppy Girl,” a great honor at the time.
The text of the article below reads: “The photograph on this page is that of Miss Carolyn Woolsey Ferriday, debutante daughter of Mrs. Henry McKeen Ferriday, who was chosen as the ideal of the Poppy Girl. She is one of the young women of fine American ancestry who willingly consented to peddle the Memorial Day poppies. Millions of poppies to be used in celebration of Memorial Day here are being made by little children–inmates of orphan asylums of New Jersey, New York and elsewhere.”
Caroline went on to do much more for her country. She worked with the French Consulate to help orphaned children, befriended a group of Polish women known as the “Rabbits” who’d been operated on by the Nazis. She also worked for civil rights and helped establish the first black bank in Harlem. It’s important to remember women like Caroline who gave so much.