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The Civil War

Freedom and 49 other ways it changed American life

Medical advances

In many ways the Civil War set the stage for modern medicine, providing thousands of poorly schooled physicians with a vast training ground:

11. Modern hospital organization

12. Embalming techniques

13. Safer surgical techniques

14. Improved anesthesia

15. Organized ambulance and nurses' corps

Cultural legacy

The war influenced our holidays and play:

16. Juneteenth holiday, also known as Emancipation Day

17. Memorial Day

18. Thomas Nast popularizes image of Santa Claus

19. Some 65,000 books on the conflict

20. Films such as Gone With the Wind, Glory and Cold Mountain

21. More than 70 National Park Service Civil War sites

22. Centennial toys: Civil War trading cards and blue & gray toy soldiers

Next: What technological advances did the war years bring? >>

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