History of the Red Cross Movement

Red Cross
Clara Barton: Founder of the American Red Cross

When a humanitarian crisis strikes, international members of the Red Cross movement (including the Red Crescent) are there to help.

Jean Henri Dunant, a Swiss businessman, founded the movement after his life was forever changed witnessing and recalling the Battle of Solferino in 1859. Dunant was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 1901 along with Frédéric Passy who helped found a French peace movement.

In the United States, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross after having served soldiers and families during the Civil War. She was inspired by Dunant's push in Europe to secure international cooperation and she was instrumental in securing the United State's ratification of what is popularly known as the Geneva Convention. While Barton was never awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, the international Red Cross movement has been recognized by the committee in 1917, 1944, and 1963.

For Barton's account of the Red Cross read: The Red Cross: A History of This Remarkable International Movement in the Interest of Humanity.

Other titles of interest include:

The Library has several important histories and manuscripts of the Mile High Chapter of the American National Red Cross in Western History and Genealogy while the Children's Library has several wonderful books introducing humanitarian aid during times of tragedy to younger audiences.

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