American Social Hygiene Association.

Journal of social hygiene (Volume 28) online

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cer, First Xaval District, U. S. Navy; Raymond T. King, Chairman, Springfield
Social Hygiene Committee; Dr. Helen I. D. McGillicuddy, Educational Secretary,
Massachusetts Society for Social Hygiene; Mrs. S. W. Miller, Executive Secretary.
Massachusetts Society for Social Hygiene; Col. J. J. Reddy, Chief Surgeon, First
Corps Area, U. S. Army; W. Duncan Russell, Regional Representative, United
Service Organizations ; Dr. George Shattuck, President, Massachusetts Central
Health Council and Boston Health League; and Dr. Glenn Usher, U. S. Public
Health Service representative with Maine State Department of Health.

At the speakers' table were:

Ralph Bradley, Chairman, Massachusetts Committee on Social Hygiene Day ;
Mrs. Donald J. Hurley, Board of Directors, Massachusetts Society for Social
Hygiene ; Mrs. William G. Potter, Chairman, Student 's Aid, Massachusetts Council
of Parent Associations; Dr. George Gilbert Smith, President, Massachusetts
Society for Social Hygiene ; Mrs. Harry C. Solomon, Vice-President, Massachu-
setts .Society for Social Hygiene; Mrs. David A. Westcott, President, Massachu-
setts State Federation of Women's Clubs; Dr. William F. Snow, Chairman,
Executive Committee, American Social Hygiene Association ; and Monsignor .
Robert P. Barry, Director, Catholic Charitable Bureau, who made the i

For JOURNAL readers who were not present, the JOURNAL
records the presentation ceremonies as they occurred:

MR. MATHER: In these unprecedented times in the history
of this country and the entire world, there is of course but
one test for any activity of a citizen or of an organization.
"Does it contribute to our war effort?" We who have been
fighting the great battle against venereal disease have long
known that our cause ranks second to none in its vital impor-
tance to the nation in war time, as well as in peace. So our
course was clear. We have simply redoubled our efforts to
fight the good fight, and to arouse the general public to an
appreciation of its significance. In our efforts, meetings such
as this one naturally play a great part.

It is particularly appropriate that we in Boston should be
welcoming the American Social Hygiene Association here for
the 29th Annual Meeting, because it was this city that fur-
nished an outstanding group of the leaders who organized
the Association nearly thirty years ago with Dr. Charles W.
Eliot as its first president and Major Henry L. Higginson
as its first treasurer. The Saturday Evening Post recently
stated that Dr. Thomas Hepburn, father of Katherine Hep-
burn, interested President Eliot in this movement and that


he turned down an appointment as .Ambassador to the Court
of Saint James in order to devote his time and energy to the
cause of social hygiene.

In introducing Major General Merritte W. Ireland, retired,
who will speak in a few minutes, I want to make sure you do
not misunderstand what that word "retired" means. When
I was younger I visualized a man who was "retired" as an
old gray-beard reading a paper in a great leather chair at
his club. But since I met General Ireland two years ago 'at
a meeting in Chicago, similar to this one, at which he pre-
sented the Snow Medal to his old Chief, General Pershing, I
have "found out different." Although he was Surgeon
General of the A.E.F. and later Surgeon General of the U. S.
Army, and has retired from those positions, he is still an
active battler in our great fight against disease. The Jap-
anese read in the papers that General McArthur retired some
time ago as Chief of Staff of the U. S. Army. Now they are
finding out how retiring he is !

General Ireland is a member of the Board of Directors of
the Association and also appears here today as the personal
representative of General Pershing. It is therefore most
appropriate that he should make the presentation of the Wil-
liam Freeman Snow Medal at this time to one of their col-
leagues in the First World War Campaign against venereal
diseases. I take great pleasure in presenting to you my
friend Major General Merritte W. Ireland.

General Ireland's Remarks

It is with great pride and some emotion that I am her,e
today to stand sponsor for a distinguished member of the
medical profession. I have followed his career since the
afternoon before Thanksgiving Day in 1902 when the then-
Surgeon General of the Army, having given a half holiday to
his clerical staff, kept his medical assistants in the office to
help him make assignments of Medical Officers to new stations.
I have followed his work as Lieutenant Russell at small posts
like Fort Washington, Maryland, and Fort Wingate, New
Mexico, to the present time when his status becomes that of
a foremost citizen in the public health world.


Internationally, his work and his name are near the top of
the list. In 1906, my position in the office of the- Surgeon
General of the Army had enabled me to know every member
of the Medical Corps except two Russell and Clayton.
About this time, Captain Eussell was detailed to come on
from the Pacific Coast to make certain scientific studies for
the Army Medical Department at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
An officer in uniform appeared at the door of my office one
day, and I said, "Come in here. You are either Russell or
Clayton, one of the two Medical Officers I do not know. ' ' He
acknowledged that he was Russell, and we put him to work.
After he completed his work at Johns Hopkins Hospital,
Surgeon General 'Reilly decided it was necessary to send an
officer from the Medical Corps to England and the Continent
to investigate the subject of protecting man against typhoid
fever through an immunizing serum which was being studied
over there at that time. Major Russell was sent on this
mission. When he returned and made the report of his inves-
tigations, it was arranged to try out the immunizing plan
in the Army on a volunteer basis. The final result of this
experiment was the complete eradication of typhoid fever
from the Army and the introduction to the civil population
of this country of the immunizing against this dreadful
scourge. This one advance in the prevention of disease which
may be credited to Russell in this country resulted in the
saving of thousands of lives.

In 1917, Colonel Russell's professional background led
the Surgeon General to select him to head the Division of
Infectious Diseases and Laboratory Service in the Surgeon
General's Office. Among the many activities of that Division
was the section for the planning and organizing of the World
War program for the prevention and control of venereal
diseases in the Army with Doctor William F. Snow, distin-
guished leader of the American Social Hygiene Association,
in charge. This was the program which was carried out in
the United States and in the American Expeditionary Force
which enabled General John J. Pershing to boast that ho
commanded the cleanest Army in the world and which has


kept and is today keeping these dangerous, infectious diseases
steadily declining as destroyers of manpower and efficiency.

In the 12 years following the War, when Brigadier General
Russell served as General Director of the International
Health Board of the Rockefeller Foundation, he had an oppor-
tunity to apply on a broad scale his knowledge of public health
with results which are known throughout the world, and
finally, since 1933, he has served as Professor and is now Pro-
fessor emeritus in the Harvard School of Public Health.

FREDERICK FULLER RUSSELL, for 22 years an honored mem-
ber of the Medical Corps of the United States Army, and a
recipient of the D.S.M.(U.S.). In these years, a special
student at Johns Hopkins Hospital investigating matters of
interest to the Corps. Detailed by the Surgeon General of
the Army to the British Medical School and the Infectious
Diseases Hospital in Vienna to study the possibility of pro-
tecting men against typhoid fever by the injection of an
immunizing serum which resulted in the eradication of that
scourge from the United States Army and its favorable
reception by the medical profession in the United States in
the protection of the civil population of this country. Chief
of the Division of Infectious Diseases and head of the Labora-
tory Service of the Surgeon General's Office during the first
World War, one section of which organized the Army cam-
paign against venereal diseases with such splendid effect.
For years Director of the International Health Board of the
Rockefeller Foundation in its efforts for the improvement of
public health in every corner of the globe. Crowning your
distinguished career as beloved teacher in the Harvard School
of Public Health.

In recognition of these momentous activities in the course
of your busy and useful life which have made you a great
benefactor of mankind, the Committee on Awards of the
American Social Hygiene Association asks you to accept the
1942 William Freeman Snow Award for distinguished service
to humanity and has given me the great honor of presenting
to you at the Twenty-ninth Annual Meeting of this Associa-
tion the medal which svmbolizes that award.


Brigadier General Russell's Acceptance
Mr. Chairman, General Ireland and ladies and gentlemen:

I thank you sincerely for the honor you have done me in
presenting to me the Snow Medal. It is an honor that I think
I fully appreciate, for I have known Dr. Snow and his great
effort in the field of social hygiene for many years ; in fact,
since the days when we were both young doctors who were
interested in the prevention as well as the cure of disease. It
was when Dr. Snow and I were both in California that he
developed many of the educational methods which we use
today, and I worked on patients and in the laboratory. I
remember very well reading a note in the Journal of the
American Medical Association about the discovery of Fritz
Schaudinn, of Hamburg, who together with Hoffman, a Ger-
man Army Surgeon, first described the spirochete of syphilis.
The original papers of Schaudinn and Hoffman were not pub-
lished until later, but the medical reporter of the Journal
gave so good a resume of the investigations that I was stim-
ulated to see if the findings could not be reproduced in our
clinic in San Francisco. After a few trials it did prove possi-
ble to demonstrate the spirochete of syphilis in our own
laboratory and it was with considerable pride that I exhibited
our finding to my colleagues. Our treatment in those days
before 1910 was not very good, and we were always looking
for improvements, and gradually those improvements came,
and, for that matter, are still coming, so that as I look back
over my own experience, I can see gradual but steady improve-
ment in diagnosis, treatment and in prevention of the venereal
diseases, and I know that still better methods are still to come.

In 1917 and 1918, we were confronted with a huge program
for prevention of these diseases and Doctor Snow, Clarke,
Johnson and many others of us worked day and night to bring
about improvements. As I look back I know that we had a
considerable measure of success. The rate for venereal
infections in the Army decreased continuously and we knew
that we had accomplished something. Of course, there was
much more to do, for in the prevention of disease one 's work
is never finished, for the public is like a procession con-


tinually marching past. The elders die off and are replaced
each year by a still larger number of young children, and
public education has to be continuous and never ceasing. One
of the permanent effects of our work in '17 and '18 was in
the education of many young doctors in the diagnosis, treat-
ment and prevention of the venereal diseases, and these young-
men are now the seniors and are, in turn, educating a new
group of young physicians who are not merely continuing
the work, but are improving it. We know that largely n> a
result of the work done in the Army and Navy during the last
war, a movement for the better treatment and for the preven-
tion of these diseases was started and that it has continued
to grow through the years.

In the hurry and bustle of the present war we know that
the situation is less formidable than at the outbreak of the
last war. As we have been a peaceful nation with a small
army we naturally have difficulty in expanding our program
for the control of the venereal diseases in the large forces
of this war. However, we succeeded in the last war, and we
shall do even better in this war. I have no doubt of that.

The statistics of venereal diseases of the Army and Navy
astonish and surprise one who first reads them, because there
are no comparable statistics from the civil population, and
there is, therefore, nothing in the same age group to compare
with them. However, surveys of limited numbers of young
men and women have been made and we are justified in believ-
ing, although it is admittedly impossible to prove it, that there
is at least no more, and perhaps less, venereal disease in
the armed forces than in the civil population. Studies made
by Ashburn during the last war have shown that these dis-
eases are not uniformly distributed, but exist in large num-
bers in only a small part of the population. Most young men
and young soldiers are free from them, but the small group
of young artisans who have been earning high wages also
have high rates, whether in or out of the armed forces. Now
that we have some idea where to look for trouble, the problem
is simpler. It is difficult to prove it, but, nevertheless, it is
my firm conviction that even in our armed forces of today
there is less disease than in the civil population. In fact, one


may say that the young men who are inducted into the Army
and Navy of our country are better protected and cared for
than the less fortunate members of the community of the
same age, who have been left at home, for we know that the
danger of contracting venereal disease is wide spread, and
that these diseases are at least as frequently contracted in
civil as in military life, perhaps even more frequently in
civil life where the morale and care is less adequate.

While I do not wish to minimize the danger from these
diseases, I do -not wish, on the other hand, to be pessimistic,
for I know that what we did before can be done again, and
probably be done better. Sweden, Denmark and some other
countries have done astonishing things in the control of the
venereal diseases and I do not believe that our people, either
in the armed forces or in the civil population, are any less
intelligent or less eager than the Scandinavians. This under-
taking can be carried through and, in fact, is being carried
through ; and honest effort and intelligent criticism are help-
ful in our program for this field of activity in our national
defense in both the armed forces and in the civil population.

In conclusion, I wish to thank you again for the honor you
have shown me in conferring upon me the Snow Medal.

MR. MATHER : I am sure I speak for all of you when I express
our appreciation to General Ireland and General Russell for
their presence here and for what they have said to us.

It is now my pleasure and privilege to make awards of
certain Life Memberships in the American Social Hygiene
Association. Our Association not only does its best to pre-
serve lives, but it believes that those who do yeoman service
in -this cause should receive recognition while they are still
alive and with us, not after their death.

Every year, therefore, Honorary Life Memberships are
awarded to those whose contributions have been particularly
outstanding. This year six such memberships have been
determined upon by the Committee charged with that respon-
sibility, two of them to be awarded here today and the other
four at similar meetings in other cities. (See pages 144-164.)


Major Bascom Johnson, will you please rise? As repre-
sentative of the American Social Hygiene Association's Com-
mittee on Awards, I have taken great pleasure in distributing
to the membership the citation recorded by the Committee
in awarding to you an honorary life membership in the Asso-
ciation. The frequency with which milestone dates from
1900 to 1942 are sprinkled through this citation indicates
that ever since your days of international prowess in track
and field athletics, you have been sprinting through your life
of devoted service to the social hygiene movement, and adding
one notable achievement after another to your career.

I now confer upon you, with the esteem and affection of
the officers, staff and membership of the Association this
Honorary Life Membership.

Dr. Claude C. Pierce, will you please stand f You have been
one of our advisors and associates in the work of the Associa-
tion from its earliest years. Because of your many distin-
guished services in behalf of public health and particularly
in advancement of the social hygiene movement, the Com-
mittee on Awards invites you to Honorary Life Membership
in the American Social Hygiene Association.

It is my privilege and pleasure today to hand to our mem-
bers the Committee's citation and to confer upon you this
Honorary Life Membership.

Mr. Johnson and Dr. Pierce each spoke briefly, in response and
Mr. Mather then introduced Mr. May.

For further details of
the Boston program
and other Social Hy-
giene Day regional
conferences and meet-
ings, see pp. 155-164.



As announced by Mr. Mather at the General Session
of the Association 's Annual Meeting in Boston, the
Committee on Awards this year conferred Honorary
Life Membership in the Association upon six persons
whose contributions have been outstanding in securing
the progress of the social hygiene movement. These
were: John D. Bockfeller, Jr., of New York; Captain
Charles S. Stephenson, U. S. Navy; Dr. Claude C.
Pierce, U. S. Public Health Service; Bascom Johnson,
American Social Hygiene Association; Dr. Elizabeth
Campbell of Cincinnati; and Captain Joseph B. Phelps,
U. S. Navy (retired) of California.

For the interest of members and friends who could
not be present at the various Social Hygiene Day meet-
MR. BOOKKKKM.EK ings when these Awards were announced (see pages

142-3 and pages 155-65), the JOURNAL publishes here-
with the citations and photographs which were dis-
tributed in brochure form at the time.


John D. Rockefeller, Jr. . . . to you we owe the growth and dev< !<>]>-
ment of social hygiene in the United States as truly as we ow< //x
origin to Prince A. Morrow. An officer of the Social Hygn in Asso-
ciation finds it difficult to address you today without violating the
fundamental law of the benefactors of Inondiiih/ that, among I/OH,
Hi ere shall be no greater and no less: Sir, we have much to tlntnl; >/ou
for. The munitions of war that transformed our committee of enthu-
siasts into an effective organization came almost wholly from yours* If
or from those friends whose interest you engaged. And each of us
ivas impressed by the knowledge that you made no conditions and
sought only to serve with us the common cause of health and educa-
tion and the support of the highest ideal of Christian morality. Han-
over, your unequalled generosity to us is but the material evid< >//<
attesting the wisdom of your counsel, ever at our disposal. On')/ flir
knowledge that you would refuse a higher honor has emboldened us
to offer you today an honorary membership in our Association.


OUR Honorary President, Dr. Edward L. Keyes, has tried to express
something of the esteem and affection of the members and officers of
the American Social Hygiene Association for John D. Rockefeller, Jr.,
\vlio with other outstanding pioneers in human betterment among
them notably Prince A. Morrow, Charles W. Eliot, and Grace ML
Dodge sponsored in 1914 this new movement in public health, educa-
tion and social protection. As Dr. Keyes points, out, it was Mr. Rocke-
feller whose genius for organization "transformed our committee of
enthusiasts" into an effective voluntary agency with the backing of
public confidence and increasing popular support. It is characteristic
of Mr. Rockefeller in all his world-wide philanthropies that before
he makes a proposal or gives his support, he thoroughly studies the
problem and considers the practical basis for action. So, in the field
of social hygiene, long before the Association was established he was
iiKHiiring into the reasons for public failure to apply available knowl-


edge of the venereal diseases, as they were called. Then, during the
first half of the year 1910, while serving as the fearless and resourceful
Foreman of the Special Grand Jury which investigated the notorious
white slave traffic in New York City, he learned the extent and insidi-
ous ramifications of commercialized prostitution and related evils.

One of Mr. Rockefeller's early observations was that "the forces
of evil are never greatly alarmed at the organization of investigating
or reform bodies, for they know that these are generally composed of
busy people, who can not turn aside from their own affairs for any
great length of time to carry on reforms, and sooner or later their
efforts will cease and the patient denizens of the underworld and their
exploiters can then reappear and continue as before." From such
impressions and the advice of his associates grew the conviction that
in order to make a real and lasting improvement in conditions, it
would be necessary to secure permanent planning and an organization
which would not be dependent upon a temporary wave of reform nor
upon the life of any man or group, but which might go on, generation
after generation, continuously making warfare against the forces of
evil. As a means toward this end, the Bureau of Social Hygiene was
formed in 1911, and continued for nearly twenty-five years to make
and publish notable surveys and studies of the various factors involved.
It was Mr. Rockefeller's expressed desire, that the spirit which domi-
nated the work of the Bureau should not be sensational or hysterical,
that it should not be essentially a spirit critical of public officials;
but that it should be essentially a spirit of constructive suggestion and
of deep scientific as well as humane interest in a great world problem.

In 1913 it became evident that the work of the Bureau needed to be
supplemented by the efforts of some national voluntary agency to
carry on a continuous program of public information and promotion
of community cooperation and action in all the educational, health,
and social protection phases of social hygiene. Mr. Rockefeller
joined President Charles W. Eliot and officers of existing voluntary
agencies in this field in arranging a merger to create the American
Social Hygiene Association in March, 1914. From that day to this
he has been truly an honored and active consultant and personal
friend not only of the officers but of the staff.

With the advent of the War in 1917, Mr. Rockefeller found the time
to participate personally in the vital extra-cantonment program, and
in promoting the correlation of these activities administratively and
financially with the larger program of the Training Camp Commis-
sions. Following demobilization of our armed forces, public interest
and participation had to be shifted from the needs of a nation at
war to the varying needs of communities at peace. The loss of Federal
assistance to states for public health and medical measures was paral-
leled by loss of public assistance for detention homes and rehabilition
services for girls drawn into prostitution. The close relations of such
facilities with recreation and leisure time activities lapsed. Gradually
the vigorous wartime program which had yielded such noteworthy
results was driven back to community action with limited assistance
from states and the Federal government. In all these years Mr. Rocke-
feller never lost confidence nor ceased to give encouragement to those
engaged in this field of endeavor.



In 1924, when there was a need to restudy the problems of inter-
national traffic in women and children. Mr. Kockefeller made it possi-

Online LibraryAmerican Social Hygiene AssociationJournal of social hygiene (Volume 28) → online text (page 18 of 71)