1 minute readHistory

From the Archives – President Kennedy and Red Cross

On the anniversary of his death, we remember President John F. Kennedy with this August 1962 image. He met with international youth delegates at the White House as part of the American Red Cross program, Operation VISTA (Visit of International Students to America). The program brought 112 youth delegates from 42 countries to the United States in order to acquaint the youth of other countries with the humanitarian ideals and values of Red Cross service, and to establish new avenues of communication for humanitarian purposes among youth. Operation VISTA enabled the international youth to travel throughout the United States, live with host families, attend workshops and participate in volunteer activities. Their visit culminated in trips to New York City for a visit to the United Nations and Washington, D.C. for a meeting with President. Kennedy at the White House, pictured here. One of the many notable participants in the Operation VISTA program was current UN Secretary General Ban  Ki-moon, who credits the program with inspiring his diplomatic career.