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February 29, 1964


JAMA. 1964;187(9):672-673. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060220046018

Florence Nightingale is best remembered for her successful efforts to establish a nursing service for the British army during the Crimean War. However, other engagements in public welfare that were strengthened by her imaginative mind and persistent determination, although less well known, do not suffer in comparison. She was named for the city of her birth, Florence, Italy, where her parents had gone on one of their periodic visits to the Continent. Florence received her elementary schooling in the usual fundamental subjects, concentrating on the classics, from her father, a country gentleman of wealth and culture from Lea Hall, Derbyshire.1 As a young girl she displayed an unusual interest in the sick and was accustomed to visit hospitals in her immediate environs as well as in London. Nursing then was a menial occupation, a haven for female drunkards and women of the street. It was not considered a suitable

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