Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Memorandum on the Red Cross Campaign.

January 29, 1953

To the Heads of Executive Departments, Commissions and Agencies:

The American Red Cross is symbolic of the deep concern of our Nation for human welfare--of the fact that the American way of life places human values above materialism. Because I subscribe so thoroughly to these principles, it is most appropriate that one of my first acts in assuming the great responsibilities of this office is to set in motion machinery for the 1953 Red Cross Fund Campaign.

The work of the Red Cross is well known to all of you. But perhaps you are not aware how the Red Cross continues its vital services to the Armed Forces, veterans and their families through a world-wide network of communication and help, at military installations, with field units, at home through the local chapters and in service and veterans' hospitals. The Red Cross collects blood to meet the urgent needs of the wounded and the many military emergencies in all combat and hospital areas.

In addition, the Red Cross has been asked to enlarge its activities in the coming year in two important areas: First, to provide additional recreation facilities for our troops overseas, and, second, to expand greatly the National Blood Program to obtain plasma for making a serum to protect children against the paralyzing effects of polio. The result is an inevitable enlargement of the Red Cross budget, and higher quotas for its 1953 Fund Campaign.

The success of the Red Cross campaign in the metropolitan area of Washington depends to a great extent on the gifts of those working in the various local, Federal and International agencies. To lead the campaign as Chairman of the Government Unit, I have designated the Honorable William McChesney Martin, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. I urge every one to pledge to Mr. Martin his unqualified assistance. Will you also kindly request your several field offices to cooperate earnestly in the fund campaign of their respective local Red Cross chapters.


Dwight D. Eisenhower, Memorandum on the Red Cross Campaign. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231587

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