Commemorating the American Bible Society

The purpose of the American Bible Society from its founding in 1816 has been to provide all people access to the Bible. In doing so, they played a major role in America’s history. During the Civil War, the American Bible Society produced pocket Bibles to fit into soldier’s uniforms—distributing more than 5.2 million Bibles to soldiers on both sides. Many famous names from our history are connected with the American Bible Society: John Jay, the first Supreme Court Justice, served in leadership, as did Francis Scott Key, who penned the Star Spangled Banner and worked with the American Bible Society for more than twenty years before his death. In the more recent past, five million Bible booklets were given out right after the 9/11 attacks, and after Hurricane Katrina, one million Bible passages were put into the hands of anyone wanting one. A reminder of the impact and influence of this Book of books.

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