American Red Cross (Greensboro) Collection

1945-1987 [bulk 1946-1947]. 1 box (22 folders), 95 items.MSS. COLL. #93

NOTE:  The numbers cited in parentheses, e.g. 1:5, refer the researcher to the Series#:Folder# in which that name/topic will be found.


The American Red Cross (Greensboro) Collection consists primarily of materials produced by the national headquarters and apparently sent to the Greensboro chapter to assist in promoting its 1946-1947 fundraising campaign. The local chapter was established shortly after the United States entered World War I in April 1917, and it quickly became an active community organization. Of particular note are the items relating to this chapter, especially a chronology of its activities during its first 50 years. Also of interest may be two pastel drawings by Anna M. Upjohn and multiple promotional posters.

Arrangement: This collection is organized into three series and arranged within series by document type. The series are: American Junior Red Cross, 1947; American Red Cross, 1945-1987; and American Red Cross, Greensboro Chapter, ca. 1946-1971.

Provenance: This bulk of this collection was donated by the Greensboro chapter of the American Red Cross in August 1989 and assigned the accession number 1989.115.1. The annual report (3:4) was among materials transferred from the N.C. Vertical File at UNCG Libraries in 2016 and incorporated in the collection in 2022.

Processing: This collection was organized by Archivist Elise Allison. The finding aid was drafted by intern Alina Ramirez in June 2022 and completed by Archivist Elise Allison in November 2022.


The American Red Cross (ARC) was founded in Washington, DC on May 21, 1881, and it soon became a vital organization, providing aid during wars, epidemics, and natural disasters. After the United States entered World War I in April 1917, representatives of the Guilford Battle Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Greensboro Woman’s Club, and the YWCA applied to establish a chapter to serve Greensboro and Guilford County. Chartered on April 20, 1917, the chapter aided the war effort by raising funds, donating materials, and caring for injured soldiers and those sickened during the Spanish influenza pandemic. In addition to providing services to the military, the chapter sponsored educational classes on first aid, hygiene, and care of the sick. Even in peacetime, it remained active in local civic affairs and provided assistance in the aftermath of natural disasters at the state, national, and international level.

Historical Sources: The main sources for this historical note are a pamphlet entitled “Greensboro Chapter American Red Cross: The First Fifty Years” (3:4) and History of Greensboro N.C. Chapter American Red Cross, Greensboro, North Carolina, a copy of which can be found in the folder at the front of the collection.


The types of materials in this collection include correspondence, drawings, posters, and a variety of printed materials, including pamphlets, awards, and one textbook. The bulk of the collection consists of publicity documents seemingly sent from the national headquarters of the American Red Cross to the Greensboro chapter for use in its fundraising efforts. Documents relating directly to the local chapter include an annual report, two pamphlets with chronologies of its activities, a fundraising letter, and publicity plans. Also of note are two pastel drawings by Anna M. Upjohn, as well as multiple posters promoting ARC service programs to potential donors, volunteers, and service recipients.


1. American Junior Red Cross.  1 folder (1 item).  1947.

The only item in this series is an American Junior Red Cross bulletin published in February 1947 (Vol. V, No. 5). In addition to highlighting current events and news relating to the organization, it includes thank you notes to service members, ideas for program services or activities in which service members can participate, and brief reports on past/present service members.

2. American Red Cross.  15 folders (67 items).  1945-1987.

This series contains materials from the national American Red Cross. Correspondence from the national chairman to various chapter chairmen relates to organizational meetings and updates (2:1), while a booklet addresses GI complaints of 1947 (2:4) and a textbook for junior members covers first aid (2:7). The majority of the series consists of publicity documents from the national headquarters (2:10-15). These materials range from posters, endorsements, radio interview scripts, and speaking scripts to documents relating to public displays, motion pictures, and fund supplies. Several posters encourage volunteers to sign-up and showcase the various roles available to them, while others highlight the impact of monetary donations and promote ARC services to military personnel and their families (2:3). The series also includes campaign newsletters and newspaper prints, one from the national headquarters newspaper service (2:9), as well as reports on ARC expenditures, shipment information for various care items sent to soldiers, and updates on ARC developments in other countries during 1946 (2:16). Of particular interest are two large pastel drawings by Anna Milo Upjohn, who became the staff artist for the American Junior Red Cross in 1921 (2:2). One of the drawings depicts a young girl, seemingly a service member, caring for a sick child, while the other features two young boys, one of whom seems to be helping the other read or write.

3. American Red Cross, Greensboro Chapter.  5 folders (27 items).  ca. 1946-1971.

Documents pertaining to the Greensboro chapter of the American Red Cross include its 1952-1953 annual report and two pamphlets detailing activities during its first 50 years (3:4). Also of note are an award of excellence that the chapter received in 1971, as well as a blank certificate of appreciation for blood donors (3:1). A letter from 1947 fund campaign chairman Ben Cone encourages the public to donate to the American Red Cross and highlights some of the services their donations support (3:2), while publicity plans for the campaign depict possible window displays for local stores such as Belk’s, Meyer’s, Montaldo’s, Younts-DeBoe, and Vanstory Clothing (3:5). Some advertising notes and production item ideas for display are also included with the publicity plans. Four pages containing minutes, or meeting notes, describe situations in which service members and/or their families requested assistance from the American Red Cross, with each one outlining circumstances of financial or medical hardship and how the ARC was able to address the case (3:3).


11American Junior Red Cross-- Printed Material -- Bulletin (1947)
21American Red Cross-- Correspondence (1945-1946)
2-- Drawings
3-- Posters (1945-1987)
4-- Printed Material -- Answers to GI Complaints (1947)
5American Red Cross-- Printed Material -- "ARC Headaches in World War II" (ca. 1947)
6-- Printed Material -- Bulletin (1947)
7-- Printed Material -- First Aid Textbook for Juniors (1947)
8-- Printed Material -- Fund Campaign (ca. 1946)
9American Red Cross-- Printed Material -- Newsletters (1946-1947)
10-- Printed Material -- Publicity (1945-1947)
11-- Printed Material -- Publicity -- Displays (ca. 1946)
12-- Printed Material -- Publicity -- Endorsements (ca. 1947)
13American Red Cross-- Printed Material -- Publicity -- Radio (1946-1947)
14-- Printed Material -- Publicity -- Speaking (ca. 1947)
15-- Printed Material -- Publicity -- Supplies (ca. 1946-1947)
16-- Printed Material -- Reports (ca. 1946-1947)
31American Red Cross, Greensboro Chapter-- Awards (1971, n.d.)
2-- Correspondence (1947)
3American Red Cross, Greensboro Chapter-- Minutes
4-- Printed Material (1953-1967)
5-- Publicity (ca. 1946)