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The American National Red Cross Headquarters

Today is the anniversary of American National Red Cross, which was co-founded by humanitarian Clara Barton on this day in 1881.  So if you’re out today for a bike ride in downtown D.C., I recommend riding by the headquarters for the American National Red Cross, which is located at 430 17th Street (MAP), just a few blocks from the White House.  You could also go by their administrative building at 2025 E Street in northwest D.C. (MAP), where on the grounds you will find the Red Cross Memorial.

Clara Barton, who was born in Massachusetts in 1821, worked with the sick and wounded during the Civil War and became known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” for her tireless dedication.  In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln commissioned her to search for lost prisoners of war, and with the extensive records she had compiled during the war, she succeeded in identifying thousands of the Union dead at the Andersonville prisoner-of-war camp.  She worked out of a location on 7th Street in D.C., known as The Missing Soldiers Office.

She was in Europe in 1870 when the Franco-Prussian War broke out, and she went behind the German lines to work for the International Red Cross.  In 1873, Barton returned to the United States, and four years later she organized an American branch of the International Red Cross.

The American National Red Cross later received its first U.S. Federal charter in 1900.  Although not a branch of the government, the organization, under a second charter issued by Congress in 1905, continues to this day to provide services to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and to the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as to state and local relief units coping with natural disasters.

The organization started 133 years ago today is still going strong.  It currently supplies more than 40 percent of the blood and blood products in the U.S.  It is also involved helping victims whenever disasters strike, such as hurricanes, tornados and floods.  The American Red Cross also is actively involved in supporting America’s military families.  And the multifaceted organization provides an array of training to more than 9 million people each year, in the areas of first aid/CPR certification, lifeguard training, babysitter’s training, as well as training for first responders and nursing assistants.

I encourage everyone to learn more about what they do, and then get involved either through donating blood, donating money, or donating your time.  You’ll be glad you did. And undoubtedly, so will someone else who is in need.

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[Click on the photos to view the full-size versions]

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Comments
  1. Another excellent post. Thanks!

    Like

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