Today is National Paperclip Day!
I know, if you are like me you’re thinking, really? There really is a day for everything, isn’t there.
But did you know…
Paperclips are not just for holding papers together. There are many other things that you can do with them!
- Replace a zipper tab
- Unclog a spray bottle
- Unclog a single serve coffee maker
- Hem holder
- Emergency hooks for broken necklaces
The Paper Clip Project
During World War II this small, universal office supply provided a visual method of protest at a time when any outward signs of objection could be dangerous, even in familiar company.
Early in the war, Norwegians were particularly persistent in their development of symbols. The paper clip represented “sticking together” for a time until the Nazis caught on and banned the wearing of paper clips.
According to a March 5, 1941, Provo, Utah newspaper article (The Daily Herald), the Norwegians switched to new symbols as quickly as the bans could be issued.
In 1998, a group of middle school students led by language arts teacher Sandra Roberts and associate principal David Smith began a project through a Holocaust education class. The voluntary after-school class, Whitwell Middle School principal Linda Hooper’s idea, would be the foundation for developing tolerance and diversity.
Inspired by the story of the protesting Norwegians and their paper clips, the students began to collect six million paper clips – one paper clip representing one Jew who perished during the Holocaust. Adults today still wrestle with how the Holocaust could occur. Imagine middle school students trying understand the magnitude of such an event on humanity.
The Paper Clip Project gained international attention and by 2001 the students collected more than 30 million paper clips. The school dedicated a Children’s Holocaust Memorial which displays an authentic German railcar filled with a portion of the paper clips.
For more information on this inspiring story, the book and film that followed visit www.oneclipatatime.org
After I read about The Paperclip Project I was both surprised and I admit I had a newfound respect for the paperclip. It just goes to show you, even the smallest of things can be used for good.
So, I hope you have a happy Paperclip Day.
All the best…