Charles R. Drew, African American, Establishes A Pioneer Blood Bank in New York City December 27, 1941

On this day in 1941,Charles R. Drew, African American, established a pioneer blood bank in New York City. He was a physician and surgeon who introduced the concept of 'blood bank'. Charles Richard Drew was a famous American physician, surgeon and medical researcher. He is remembered for his outstanding innovations and researches on blood transfusions.

He directed the blood plasma programs of the United States and Great Britain in World War II, but resigned after a ruling that the blood of African-Americans would be segregated. He died on April 1, 1950.

After creating two of the first blood banks, Drew returned to Howard University in 1941. He served as a professor there, heading up the university's department of surgery. He also became the chief surgeon at Freedmen's Hospital. Later that year, he became the first African-American examiner for the American Board of Surgery.

Ironically, when Drew himself was critically injured in a car accident in 1950 he was refused admittance to the closest hospital because of his race. By the time he arrived at the more distant hospital for blacks he had lost so much blood that a transfusion was of no avail.

He was honored on a 35-cent United States postage stamp by the United States Postal Service in their 1980 to 1985 "Great Americans" series. His final resting place is Lincoln Memorial Cemetery in Prince George's County, MD.

July 24, 2017 will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 race riots that occurred in Cambridge, MD and subsequently the burning of the elementary school and other dwellings on Pine Street. The Eastern Shore Network for Change (ESNC) is taking the lead to coordinate a community lead Commemoration Weekend beginning Friday, July 21, 2017 through the evening of Monday, July 24, 2017 throughout downtown Cambridge called “Reflections on Pine: 50 Years after the fire, Cambridge commemorates the Civil Rights Movement, community and change."

ESNC will raise awareness of issues in Dorchester County and creatively work with the community to inform, educate, and foster change that leads to social and economic empowerment.

Created By
Dion Banks
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