21 May 1881 marks the founding of the American Red Cross by Clara Barton, its first president. The Red Cross had been founded in Switzerland in 1864 by representatives from 16 European nations. It is a not-for-profit organization governed and directed by volunteers and provides disaster relief at home and abroad. Its 1.1 million volunteers are involved in community services such as collecting and distributing donated blood and blood products, teaching health and safety classes and acting as a medium for emergency communication between Americans and their armed forces.
May 21, 2019 all-day