Excessive rainfall over a large part of the Mississippi basin had by April 17 brought about flood conditions, which made it necessary for the Red Cross to handle the situation as a major disaster. Up to that time relief for the damage done by the steadily rising river had been handled by the local Red Cross chapters in the seven states on both sides of the Mississippi. A national appeal for $5,000,000 by the National Red Cross was immediately followed by a proclamation issued by President Coolidge in which he stated that the Red Cross must bear the burden of relief work and urged every one to make generous contributions.
“The government,” he said, “is giving such aid as lies within its power. Government boats ...