By Jason Clingerman
What do Walt Disney, Ernest Hemingway, and Whitney Houston have in common? They all served with the American Red Cross!
Disney served as a Red Cross ambulance driver in France during World War I. Likewise, Hemingway served as an ambulance driver in Italy during World War I. In fact, Hemingway’s service was the inspiration for his famous novel A Farewell to Arms. Houston was elected to the Red Cross Board of Governors in 1991.
What they also have in common is that records relating to their Red Cross service can be found at the National Archives!
The series “Historical Personnel Files, 1856-2008” (ARC Identifier 5757417) from Collection ANRC, Records of the American National Red Cross contains records relating to both celebrity and non-celebrity historical personnel of the American Red Cross, including but not limited to Disney, Hemingway, and Houston. Also included are records relating to the service of former presidents William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter.