UPDATE 2: Made a slight change.
"As long as we have deaf people on earth, we will have signs. And as long as we have our films, we can preserve signs in their old purity. It is my hope that we will all love and guard our beautiful sign language as the noblest gift God has given to deaf people."—George Veditz, 1913.
In early 1900s George W. Verditz, a deaf teacher and then a president of the National Association of the Deaf of the United States (NAD), saw the great need to preserve the sign language, which was being threatened by the proposed use of oralism in schools. So he and a hearing ally Edward Miner Gallaudet got together to film several deaf people (including George Veditz himself) speaking in sign language as a way to defend the right of the Deaf people to use their native signed language. You can read George Veditz's biography at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Veditz
That day - August 13th - he would have been 155 years old! Thanks to him, the preservation of the Sign Language continues to this day!
Artwork by Tami Davidson
Picture of George W. Veditz is from Gallaudet University Archives.
Uploaded: Aug 15, 2016