Celebrating the 140th Anniversary of the American Red Cross

Red Cross Cascades Region

140 years ago, as of this Friday, May 21st, 2021, Clara Barton set out to alleviate human suffering in the world and The American Red Cross was born.

1889. Johnstown, Pennsylvania Flood Shelter 1889. American Red Cross.

In 1889, Johnstown, Pennsylvania was almost swept out of existence by a wall of floodwater released when a nearby dam broke. With the help of 50 volunteers, Clara Barton provided relief to disaster evacuees for the very first time. They built a shelter to provide medical care, housing, and supplies to the thousands of people impacted by the flood.

Their service laid the groundwork for future generations to build the Red Cross into a leading emergency relief organization — which now touches millions of lives each year. Throughout our 140 year history, we’ve responded to nearly 3 million disasters, from hurricanes to wildfires and more.

Today, Red Crossers continue to come together in innovative ways to serve and give hope during life’s emergencies. It is this spirit of service, hope, and innovation that has always been at the heart of what we do.

Whether developing a new program to deliver convalescent plasma to help treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients to supporting the Red Cross and Red Crescent Climate Centre in researching new ways to tackle severe weather events – Red Cross volunteers are charting the path forward for future generations.

While we can’t stop emergencies from happening, we can help ensure that people never face them alone. Join us to provide relief and care wherever it’s needed — today and for years to come. Visit redcross.org today to learn how you can get involved.