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Dr. Howard Markel writes a monthly column for the PBS NewsHour, highlighting momentous historical events that continue to shape modern medicine. He is the director of the Center for the History of Medicine and the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan and the author of “The Secret of Life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick and the Discovery of DNA’s Double Helix” (W.W. Norton, September ’21).
Despite the advancements she made on behalf of women’s health, Dr. Mary Amanda Dixon Jones adopted an anti-abortion stance that doesn’t comport with modern medicine.
The night Twain was born, there was a brilliant view of Halley's Comet flying right over his hometown.
In 1918, working at an overcrowded Army base hospital, let alone finding yourself in one, was a nightmare.
Born on this day 458 years ago, Galileo refused to be silent about how the solar system worked.
Braille first encountered an early predecessor to his tactile writing system in 1821, while he was still an adolescent.
For Mexico's National Institute of Cardiology, the artist portrayed a pantheon of heart doctors.
Irving Berlin has no place in American music; he is American music,” legendary composer Jerome Kern once wrote. Yet for his final 25 years, Berlin led a rather reclusive existence.
In today’s socially mediated 24/7 news cycle, it is difficult to imagine just how taboo the topic of prescription opiate addiction was back then, let alone how much courage it took for Levant to bring it to such national prominence.
Ashe served as a beacon of kindness and courage for generations of African Americans, tennis players and fans, HIV/AIDS patients, nurses, health care workers, and doctors like me.
The fire and its aftermath is a big reason American factories and offices are now far safer than they once were only a century ago.
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