Herbert Hoover photo

Radio Address on the Drought Relief Campaign of the American National Red Cross.

January 22, 1931

Judge Payne, ladies and gentlemen:

It is a real obligation that I should join in this appeal. The American Red Cross is a great voluntary organization, created by the people themselves, on whom the Nation places reliance in time of need and times of disaster. For some months it has been providing for those of our fellow citizens who have suffered from the devastating effects of the longextended drought. The area affected is roughly limited to the States bordering upon the Potomac, the Ohio, and the Mississippi Rivers, with limited acute areas in some Southwestern and Northwestern States. The people in this area lost a large part of their crops, and many thousands are even short of food supplies.

The Red Cross now appeals for $10 million of additional funds in order that that essential task may be adequately performed. There is no question but that funds are needed. It is unthinkable that any of our people should be allowed to suffer from hunger or want. The heart of the Nation will not permit it. It is to the heart of the Nation that I am appealing tonight. I urge all of my fellow countrymen to contribute promptly and in accordance with their means. It is a call to citizenship and to generosity in time of trial, but it is a call for protection to our greatest American institution of charity and above all a call on behalf of those in need.

I want to take this occasion to thank the thousands of devoted members of the Red Cross throughout the land who in the drought-stricken areas are devoting their time and effort to the relief of suffering and in the other parts of the country to providing the means of doing so. In the face of calamity let us unite in a common effort to drive suffering and want from our country. There can be no higher duty. To the call of that duty the Nation will respond.

Note: The President spoke over the National Broadcasting Company radio network from the White House. John Barton Payne was Chairman of the American National Red Cross.

As printed above, the text follows the President's reading copy of the address. On the same day, the White House issued an advance text of the address.

Herbert Hoover, Radio Address on the Drought Relief Campaign of the American National Red Cross. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/211880

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