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…

In 1972, the New York Times reported that more than 3,000 people in the U.S. choked to death that year, making it the sixth most common cause of accidental death. Up until that time, the usual response upon discovering a…

North Brother Island is a 16.5-acre bump of land jutting out of the East River, 1,500 feet east of 140th Street in the South Bronx and 2,500 feet west of Riker’s Island. Once the site of New York City’s lazaretto,…

Dec 03

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How to save a dying heart

In a monthly column for PBS NewsHour, Dr. Howard Markel revisits moments that changed the course of modern health and medicine on their anniversaries, like the world's first human heart transplant on Dec. 3, 1967. In the photo above, Amy…

Oct 16

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In a monthly column for PBS NewsHour, Dr. Howard Markel revisits moments that changed the course of modern medicine on their anniversaries, like the groundbreaking use of anesthesia on a surgical patient on Oct. 16, 1846. Photo by Image…

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