The American Red Cross Was Organized - May 21
- 2013 5 May
The American Red Cross was organized MAY 21, 1881, by Clara Barton, a schoolteacher who had moved to Washington at the outbreak of the Civil War. She distributed relief supplies to wounded soldiers and, at the request of President Lincoln, aided in searching for missing men. Clara Barton helped in hospitals in Cuba during the Spanish-American War and in Europe during the Franco-German war, working with Henri Dunant, founder of the International Red Cross. On May 18, 1918, at the opening of the Second Red Cross Drive in New York City, President Woodrow Wilson recognized those in this great service, stating: "Being members of the American Red Cross...a great fraternity and fellowship which extends all over the world...this cross which these ladies bore here today is an emblem of Christianity itself...When you think of this, you realize how the people of the United States are being drawn together into a great intimate family whose heart is being used for the service of the soldiers not only, but for the long night of suffering and terror, in order that they and men everywhere may see the dawn of a day of righteousness and justice and peace."