By Catherine Carlton, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross
In addition to running the country, Presidents of the United States of America have a long history of supporting the American Red Cross.
Since the beginning of American Red Cross, the Commander in Chief has been involved in our mission. From President Lincoln’s authorization of American Red Cross founder, Clara Barton, to identify the fate of missing soldiers for grieving parents, family and friends after the Civil War to when President Theodore Roosevelt’s first tasked the American Red Cross with disaster relief in 1906. President Jimmy Carter was even a regular Red Cross blood donor!
President Woodrow Wilson engaged frequently with the Red Cross. He was named the first honorary president of the American Red Cross in 1913; he appointed a War Council to guide operations of the Red Cross during World War I; and called on youth to join the newly formed Junior Red Cross.
Back in 1962, 112 delegates from the Red Cross Operation VISTA program traveled to the United States, living with host families and participating in Red Cross service programs. During their visit, they also had the opportunity to meet President John F. Kennedy. (Featured photo; If you look closely on the left, you’ll see a young Ban Ki-moon, currently UN Secretary-General.)
Coming soon, President Barak Obama is anticipated to declare March “Red Cross Month”, as he did in 2015, a tradition upheld by each of our nation’s leaders since President Franklin D. Roosevelt first recognized Red Cross Month in 1943.
In honor of Presidents’ Day, we hope you’ll celebrate with us as we reflect on the history of the American Red Cross working closely with our nation’s leaders. Visit us at redcross.org.
Learn more stories of U.S. Presidents supporting the mission of the American Red Cross at: http://www.redcross.org/about-us/history/significant-dates-in-history