February 27, 1981
By the President of the United States
This year we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the American National Red Cross, a humanitarian movement born in Europe in time of war and founded in our Nation in 1881 by a small group headed by Clara Barton, a woman nearing the age of 60 who was known during the Civil War as the ``Angel of the Battlefield.''
With unfailing resourcefulness, zeal, and compassion, Red Cross volunteers have proved equal to the challenges of our time. In peace and in war, they have reflected the humanitarian instincts of the American people.
The Red Cross teaches individuals, families, and communities to avoid emergencies; prepares individuals, families, and communities for those emergencies that cannot be avoided; and helps individuals, families, and communities cope with crises when they do come.
The Red Cross serves beside our armed forces at home and abroad; provides blood and its components to our ill and injured; and helps those stricken by disaster.
The primary support of the American Red Cross always has been contributions, given voluntarily. This voluntary support reflects admirably the freedom and generosity of the American people. To insure that the Red Cross emblem continues to fly on banners across this Nation for another 100 years, I urge all Americans to continue this support with undiminished vigor.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America and Honorary Chairman of the American National Red Cross, do hereby designate March 1981 as Red Cross Month, a month when every citizen is asked to join, serve, and contribute in the same example of unselfish spirit that has characterized the Red Cross since its founding a century ago.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of February, in the year of the Lord nineteen hundred eighty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 2:57 p.m., February 27, 1981]
Memorandum About Red Cross Month, 1981
February 27, 1981
Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
The 100th Anniversary of the American National Red Cross is being celebrated this year and I have just affixed my signature to the document proclaiming the month of March as Red Cross Month.
The historic record of mercy and service of the Red Cross is known to us all. Its efforts this past year have alleviated suffering in this country and abroad, trained hundreds of thousands to deal effectively in matters of health and safety, and, through its blood services, saved the lives of untold numbers.
As President of the United States and Honorary Chairman of the American National Red Cross, I extend my personal support for the humanitarian efforts of this organization.
I know that you will join me in this support and encourage every Federal employee and member of our armed forces to assist the Red Cross by supporting their local chapters. It is essential to the Nation that the Red Cross continue to receive wide public voluntary support, both in funds and volunteer effort, to insure the organization's second century of service.
Let us all respond generously and help maintain the spirit of charity that has always been one of the hallmarks of the American character.