JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 1956AMERICAN RED CROSS FOUNDED 135 YEARS AGO
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) One hundred and thirty-five years ago, May 21, 1881, Clara Barton* founded the American National Red Cross at her apartment on I Street here in the Nation's Capital. The first local society of the ARC was organized in Dansville, New York in 1882.
The American Red Cross joined the International Red Cross in providing humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters.
Miss Barton, a nurse during the Civil War, earned the nickname "Angel of the Battlefield." She cared for wounded Union soldiers in many battles including Antietam, Fredericksburg, Charleston, Petersburg and Cold Harbor.
Clara Barton said...
"I always tried...to succor the wounded until medical aid and supplies could come up. I could run the risk. It made no difference to anyone if I were shot or taken prisoner."
In addition to her service in the Civil War, she was assigned the duty by President Abraham Lincoln of helping to identify the Union dead at Andersonville.**
Clara Barton was also the first president of the American Red Cross.
*Clarissa Harlowe Barton (1821-1912) was born in North Oxford, Massachusetts. She earned a teaching certificate at the age of 17 in 1939 & taught in Canada & West Georgia.
CHB attended Clinton Liberal Institute in New York & moved to Washington, DC. in 1855. She was one of the first women employed by the Federal Government working as a recording clerk in the US Patent Office.After serving as a nurse in the Civil War, she led the American Red Cross for 23 years.
"Founder Clara Barton," www.redcross.org/
Clara Barton Postage Stamp (1948)
**JFK's sister, Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy, began volunteering for the Red Cross in 1940. According to the JFK Library, she planned benefit luncheons & fashion shows for the Allied Relief Fund to aid British seamen disabled by the war. She later volunteered to serve the Red Cross in London.