Harry S. Truman photo

Radio Address Opening the Red Cross Fund Campaign.

February 28, 1949

[Broadcast from the White House at 9:55 p.m.]

My fellow Americans:

On the eve of the 1949 fund campaign of the American Red Cross, I consider it not only a duty, but a genuine privilege, to call upon all men and women of good will to support this humanitarian cause.

Earlier tonight, millions of you heard stirring Red Cross messages dramatized by some of America's finest talent. During the month of March, citizens throughout the United States and Canada will hear and see other programs dedicated to this annual campaign. Keeping the Red Cross strong is a part of our overall job.

This afternoon I renewed my annual membership in the Red Cross, just as I have done for many years. As evidence of enrollment I was given a small button for my lapel--a red cross emblem on a field of white. Here is a symbol we can all wear proudly, with full confidence that it stands for a movement which works for all the people all the time. Wherever there is trouble, there too is the Red Cross--a partnership of the people--translating our dollars into good deeds.

The Red Cross commands the respect and gratitude of all of us. And small wonder that it does when we review its record of performance.

The past fiscal year proved to be one of the most significant in the organization's long history. For example, in its disaster relief role the Red Cross answered the call of the distressed in 303 separate emergencies. Comparatively few of these were catalogued as major catastrophes. Let us remember, however, that whenever disaster strikes, the havoc wrought is just as devastating and bewildering to those individuals affected, whether there are 100 families or 100,000 families overwhelmed.

Through its services to our Armed Forces and to our veterans and their dependents, the Red Cross has remained a counsellor and stalwart friend of our troops as well as all ex-servicemen.

Through its home nursing and first aid and water safety courses, it has spread better health habits and reduced the accident toll throughout the land. Through Junior Red Cross members in the schools, it has promoted better citizenship and world understanding among our youth. Through a vast network of local chapters, the Red Cross provides a service which reaches the community--the Nation--the world.

I hope you will welcome the volunteer solicitors who soon will call upon you. They are giving not only their funds, but their energies as well. Let us oversubscribe the 1949 goal of the Red Cross. Let us keep this partnership of the people ready and at full strength.

Harry S. Truman, Radio Address Opening the Red Cross Fund Campaign. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/229934

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