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Rally for the Red Cross Blood Drive
Rally for the Red Cross Blood Drive

This week we are celebrating #IheartIdaho week, “a celebration of everything that makes the University of Idaho great – from its rich traditions to the people who make up the Vandal family.” University of Idaho Library Special Collections’ contribution is this historical photo showing our commitment to service. While the photo looks like light-hearted fun, it is of the Red Cross Blood Drive Committee during a “Beat Harvard” Rally. The Associated Students University of Idaho, ASUI, was the first student body in the United States to sponsor a blood drive, supporting the dire need for blood during the Korean War. Blood drives quickly became an international competition to see who could donate the most. In October of 1951, UI donated 1,014 pints of blood in 3 days, beating Harvard’s donation of 934 pints in 4 days. In April of 1952, 59% of UI students donated, topping University of British Columbia among others. Blood drives are still an active part of philanthropic campus life.


PG 2-147-5, 1951; IheartIdaho website; 1951 and 1952 Gem of the Mountains Yearbooks; UI 125th Celebration Flickr

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