American Red Cross Blood Services milestones Print
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ben Corey   
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 15:57
1941

The Red Cross began collecting blood for the U.S. military with Dr. Charles Drew as medical director.

1943

March was first proclaimed Red Cross Month by Franklin Roosevelt. Every president since has honored Red Cross Month.

1948

The Red Cross implemented the first nationwide blood program for civilians. The first collection center opened in Rochester, N.Y.

1972

The Red Cross called for a national blood policy, which the federal government set up in 1974, supporting standardized practices.

1992

The Red Cross applied standardized tests to ensure the safety of blood products. Now about a dozen tests are performed on every blood donation.