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Moina Belle Michael Collection

Identifier: 0000-0156M-b

Scope and Contents

A large part of the collection is the original manuscript for "The Miracle Flower" and correspondence relating to Moina B. Michael's attempt to be accepted internationally as the original "Poppy Lady." Also included are tributes paid to her by the American Legion and its Auxiliary, who carried out her poppy plan, and by individuals all over the world. Photographs and printed material compliment Miss Michael's papers.

The collection is organized into five parts: I. Correspondence, 1914 - 1964 (bulk 1918 - 1944); II. The Miracle Flower and Related Papers, 1918 - 1946; III. Poppy-related Records and Publicity, 1914 - 1984 (bulk 1937 - 1944); IV. Photographs, 1911 - 1944 (bulk 1916 - 1920); and V. Published Works, 1918 - 1958 (bulk 1919 - 1942).

Series One includes correspondence in support of Miss Michael as originator of the poppy idea. Included is much correspondence with the American Legion and with particular figures such as the Duke of Windsor, Walter Winchell, Corra Harris, Eddie Rickenbacker, Margaret Mitchell, and John J. Pershing. Biographical data, personal correspondence, and funeral plans make up the rest of the series. Correspondence arranged chronologically.

Series Two contains manuscript drafts of Miss Michael's THE MIRACLE FLOWER and correspondence relating to the national poppy emblem and the book's publication. Arranged chronologically.

Series Three (Poppy-related records and publicity): consists of Poppy Anchor donation records, programs, and photographs; Steffen Thomas's Moina Michael sculpture papers; the Moina Michael stamp records; honors, tributes, and awards with photographs; and news clippings about Michael's projects. Arranged by form of materials.

Series Four: Photographs of Moina Michael (1914 - 1944) and of World War I soldiers and combat scenes. Arranged by subject of photograph.

Series Five: Publications: Various books and pamphlets, not by Moina Michael, about World War I and related topics. Poems, a Georgia State Normal School yearbook (1925), American Legion publications, and Poppy Day Reports (1933 - 1938). Arranged by type of publication.


  • 1911 - 1984


Biographical / Historical

Moina B. Michael was a World War I YMCA relief worker and proposer of the poppy as an emblem for remembrance of those who died in the war. Profits from the sales of poppy items were used to assist disabled veterans.

Born near Good Hope, GA, the daughter of John M. and Alice Wise Michael, Moina studied at Martin Institute in Jefferson, GA, and began a teaching career at 16 that culminated in 1912 as Lady Principal at Bessie Tift College. During this period, she educated herself at Lucy Cobb Institute and the State Normal School in Athens, GA. In 1912-1913 she spent a year at Columbia University in NYC, NY. The last decades of her life she was the Social and Religious Director at the Georgia Normal School, later the Georgia State Teachers College.

During World War I, Moina Michael worked with the American Committee, the YMCA, and the Red Cross, a chapter of which she established at the Teachers College in Athens, GA. Late in life she wrote The Miracle Flower, which was published in 1941.


10.25 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Unpublished inventory available.

Moina Belle Michael Collection
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Georgia Archives Manuscript Collections Repository

5800 Jonesboro Rd
Morrow GA 30214 United States