Dr. Howard Markel

's Most Recent Stories

  • November 19, 2014

    Back in 1945 — a mere seven months into a presidency he inherited from Franklin D. Roosevelt — Truman proposed a “universal” national health insurance program. In his remarks to Congress, he declared, “Millions of our citizens do not now have a full measure of opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health. Millions do not now have protection or security against the economic effects of sickness. The time has arrived for action to help them attain that opportunity and that protection.” Continue reading

  • October 15, 2014

    Oct. 15, 1966 marked the day that Ellis Island (along with Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty) was officially listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Continue reading

  • September 29, 2014

    Early on the morning of Sept. 29, 1982, a tragic, medical mystery began with a sore throat and a runny nose. It was then that Mary Kellerman, a 12-year-old girl from Elk Grove Village, a suburb of Chicago, told her mother and father about her symptoms. They gave her one extra-strength Tylenol capsule that, unbeknownst to them, was laced with the highly poisonous potassium cyanide. Mary was dead by 7 a.m. Within a week, her death would panic the entire nation. And only months later, it changed the way we purchase and consume over-the-counter medications. Continue reading

  • August 15, 2014

    Besides being a beloved baseball star, Babe Ruth was one of the first cancer patients to receive a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, a practice that doctors still use today. Continue reading

  • July 30, 2014

    Forty-nine years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson found himself in Independence, Missouri. Although he was surrounded by a gaggle of politicians, distinguished guests and Secret Service agents, the president was armed only with a fountain pen, a bottle of ink and a sheath of papers. Seated directly beside him, so as to accommodate the newspaper photographers and the television cameras, was Independence’s favorite son, the 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman. Continue reading