Today we celebrate the 127th anniversary of the founding of the American Red Cross by Clara Barton in Washington D.C. After serving as a nurse in the Civil War, Clara served with the International Red Cross during the Franco Prussian War in 1870. Inspired by that organization’s efforts, she returned home intent on starting a similar organization in the United States.
After many years of planning the American Red Cross was born on May 21st 1881. Clara served as the organization’s first president and was on hand to assist the relief efforts at many disaster sites including the devastating hurricane that leveled Galveston Texas in 1900. From its modest beginnings, the American Red Cross has gown into a nationwide network of over 700 chapters serving thousands each year. In that time the mission of the Red Cross has always remained the same, to provide relief and recovery to those who need it and to help communities prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters.