American Red Cross Month

By Tri-State Training March 15, 2023
American Red Cross was founded on May 21, 1881, by Clara Barton. The organization provides life-saving first aid to those in need.

March is American Red Cross month. 142 years ago, on May 21, 1881, the American Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton.

Clara was known to the Civil War soldiers as the Angel of the Battlefield. When the war broke out, she quit her job as a clerk to bring supplies and medical aid to the troops. Clara had no medical training, but she became the head nurse for a Massachusetts general in 1864.

After the war, she traveled to Europe, where she learned about the International Red Cross. When she came back to the U.S., she met with President Rutherford B. Hayes to discuss the development of the Red Cross movement. She succeeded in persuading him, and on August 22, 1881, in Dansville NY, the first local chapter was established. 

One of the first places the American Red Cross provided aid to was Johnstown, PA (located in Cambria County), after a dam collapsed in 1889, causing a disastrous flood and over 2,000 deaths. The first major war aided by the American Red Cross, was the Spanish-American War in 1898. The Red Cross donated food, supplies, and medicine to American troops and civilians in Cuba. In 1948, the Red Cross opened its first blood donor collection center in NY. 

Since its inception, the American Red Cross has responded to and provided aid to countless disasters. Their work continues to apply the same standards that Clara started all those years ago - helping others who are in need. From natural disasters to terrorist attacks, and everything in between, the Red Cross will always be a symbol of hope and safety.  

There are so many ways to support the Red Cross. Monetary donations, setting up blood drives and donating, and volunteering are just a few. This month we take pride in the dedication of the members of the American Red Cross. 



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