An excerpt from “The American Red Cross: Organization and Activities,” an informational booklet published in 1917.
This booklet, published on May 24, 1917, describes the organizational structure, mission, and financial standing of the American Red Cross (ARC). It details the ARC’s responsibilities toward the US Army and Navy, and its roles in civilian emergency and disaster relief. The publication also describes how the ARC met these responsibilities through the work of different divisions, including ambulance services, base hospitals, first aid training, home health, and supplies.
At the time this booklet was published, the US had just entered World War I a month prior and President Woodrow Wilson had placed the American Red Cross under the control of the American Red Cross War Council. As a result, the ARC pulled out of all Central Power countries (Austria-Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire) and revoked its neutrality stance. The ARC would no longer provide services to citizens in or from enemy countries.