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Women of the Unadilla Branch of the American Red Cross, World War I, c. 1917

Women of the Unadilla Branch of the American Red Cross
New York State Archives, NYSA_A0412-78_B18_F22_Unadilla
Document Description
Women of the Unadilla branch of the American Red Cross march in downtown Unadilla, World War I, c. 1917.
Why do you think the Unadilla branch of the American Red Cross was holding a parade?
How did parades, like the one in this photograph, help to gain support for the American Red Cross?
How does the American Red Cross raise funds for its services?
Why was the American Red Cross is such demand during World War I?
How did the American Red Cross raise money for its programs?
What types of advertising did the Red Cross use during World War I?
In your opinion, which types of advertising do you think were the most successful to raise money?
Historical Challenges
Research the uniforms worn by American Red Cross nurses during World War I and how these uniforms have changed since then.
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Arts: Write a newspaper article describing this parade by the Unadilla Branch of the American Red Cross.

Historical Context
The Red Cross received its first congressional charter in 1900 and a second in 1905. This charter set forth the purpose of the organization - giving relief to and serving as a medium of communication between members of the American armed forces and their families, and providing national and international disaster relief and mitigation.

Though the American Red Cross was given this charter by Congress, it is not a federally funded organization. The American Red Cross is a non-profit, charitable organization that receives its funding from public donations.

During World War I, the American Red Cross faced an unprecedented national need for its service. Raising the funds to deliver this service required that the organization use advertising to appeal directly to the American people. The American Red Cross used many means of publicity, most of which the organization had never before employed, to encourage donations and volunteers. The American Red Cross assembled an advertising campaign that proved to be extremely effective.

The campaign included: posters; newspaper and magazine advertisements and articles; banners and billboards; brochures and leaflets; motion pictures; public speakers; and public events (including local parades and pageants).  In total, the War Funds brought in about $250,000,000, which significantly surpassed the American Red Cross’s expectations.

Essential Question
How do women contribute to solving national issues?
Check for Understanding
Describe the women in the photograph and explain their contribution to World War I.