U.S. Public Health Service Is Established (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: A federal agency becomes responsible for protecting the health of U.S. citizens.
Summary of Event
When, in 1912, the United States Congress passed legislation authorizing the United States Public Health Service to investigate the causes of communicable diseases, lawmakers recognized the evolution of a government agency that had begun many years before. The legislation marked the official transition from the Public Health Service’s origins as an agency of government established with a narrow focus—that is, to provide health care for one small segment of the population—into a government agency responsible for overseeing the general health of the entire citizenry of the United States.
The origins of the U.S. Public Health Service can be traced to sixteenth century England. Following the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, the English people established a seaman’s hospital in gratitude for the services of their naval personnel. Throughout much of the American colonial period, the British government collected a nominal sum from its sailors, including those from the colonies, to care for the sick and disabled. With the founding of the United States,...
(The entire section is 1463 words.)
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