||Clara Barton, founder of
the American Red Cross, was born on December 25
in North Oxford, Massachusetts. Died April 12, 1912.
||Swiss citizen Jean Henry Dunant,
founder of the Red Cross, was born May
8. World Red Cross Day is celebrated annually on his birthday. Died October
30, 1910. Shared first Nobel Prize in 1901 with French humanitarian Frederic
A Memory of Solferino, in which he described an
1859 battle in Italy and how he tried to help the thousands of wounded.
He urged creation of war relief societies, leading to the founding of the
||A five-member International
Committee of the Red Cross was created in Geneva,
with Dunant as a member. A red cross on a white background, the inverse
of the Swiss flag, was adopted as its emblem.
||An international diplomatic
conference adopted the first Geneva Convention
to protect the sick, wounded, and medical personnel on the battlefield.
Three more were later added to protect the wounded and sick at sea (1907),
prisoners of war (1929), and civilians (1949). Additional protocols governing
civil wars were added in 1977.
||On May 21, Clara Barton, a
former teacher and government worker from Massachusetts,
founded the American Association of the Red Cross in Washington, D.C. That
same year, the first chapter was established in Dansville, New York. Supplies
were shipped to Michigan forest fire victims by New York chapters in the
organizations first disaster relief operation.
||The American Red Cross
carried out its first international relief program.
One million starving Russians received grain from Midwestern farmers.
||The U.S. Congress granted the
American Red Cross a charter, providing a
national mechanism for the American Red Cross to provide services to members
of the U.S. Armed Forces and relief to disaster victims at home and abroad.
The charter was revised in 1905.
||An earthquake and fire destroyed
much of San Francisco. President Theodore
Roosevelt named the American Red Cross as the agency to lead relief efforts.
||Jane Delano, superintendent of
Army nurses, joined the Red Cross headquarters
in Washington. This was the first step in giving the organization a national
||American Red Cross first
aid and safety programs began.
||Water safety program was established.
||The American Red Cross
sent a Mercy Ship to Europe at the beginning
of WW I, which carried surgeons and nurses to aid the wounded on both sides.1917America
entered World War I. The American Red Cross became a major humanitarian
force with more than 30 million contributors and volunteers, carrying out
medical and welfare activities for the armed forces and millions of civilians
||The Red Cross began aiding
victims of severe dust storms in the Midwest
caused by widespread drought conditions. It distributed government food
and seed during the Great Depression, aiding millions of Americans.
||The Red Cross established
a blood and plasma program and eventually mobilized
more than seven million volunteers to carry out national programs in support
of the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. Produced 29 million lifesaving
food parcels for prisoners of war, collected 13 million units of blood,
and aided 76 million war refugees.
||The Red Cross established the
first nationwide civilian blood program in
Rochester, New York. Added a rare donor program in 1968 and tissue banking
||Red Cross workers provided
humanitarian assistance to U.S. troops in Korea.
||President Harry S. Truman
established a federal blood program for national
defense purposes and named the Red Cross the official blood collecting agency
for the country for the duration of the Korean conflict.
||Red Cross workers went to
Vietnam. By the end of U.S. involvement in 1973,
they had responded to two million requests for services to members of the
||Tropical Storm Agnes ripped through
the eastern section of the United States,
killing and injuring thousands. More than 29,000 Red Cross volunteers aided
some 700,000 people.
||Immediately after the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensed the first
test to detect the antibody to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, Red Cross
Blood Services regions begin testing all newly donated blood.
||Through public education
programs, the American Red Cross began working
to prevent HIV infection.
||The Red Cross entered into
a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to greatly expand HIV/AIDS education
||Hurricane Hugo devastated
parts of the Carolinas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin
Islands and was followed shortly after by the Loma Prieta Earthquake in
Northern California. The Red Cross spent some $224 million on these and
other disasters that year.
||The American Red Cross Holocaust
and War Victims Tracing and Information
Center opened after captured Nazi documents in the archives of the former
Soviet Union were released, enabling the Red Cross to trace the fate of
thousands of victims.
||Red Cross Armed Forces
Emergency Services workers followed U.S. troops to
Operation Desert Shield/Storm in the Middle East to provide emergency communications
and other humanitarian services.
||Elizabeth Dole became President of
the American Red Cross. She is the second
woman President of the organization since Clara Barton.
||On August 24, Hurricane Andrew
devastated parts of Florida and Louisiana.
Some 14,800 Red Cross disasters workers mobilized in the single most comprehensive
and expensive disaster relief effort in Red Cross history$83.7 million.
||In April, massive flooding
began in the Midwest and continued through the
summer months, damaging or destroying more than 56,000 homes. During this
disaster, the Red Cross sheltered more than 15,400 people in 193 shelters,
served 2.8 million meals to disaster victims and emergency workers, and
provided emergency assistance to some 35,800 families.
||The American Red Cross
assisted victims of the bombing of a federal building
in Oklahoma City. More than 9,000 Red Cross workers were involved in helping
with a variety of needs ranging from financial assistance to trauma counseling.
||In March, the American Red Cross
implemented the HIV p24 antigen assay test
within 24 hours of its approval by the Food and drug Administration. This
test further reduces the risk of transmission to 1:676,000 per unit of blood