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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bethesda in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

dedicated the NIH Bethesda campus

 

—on this site, October 31, 1940 —

 
President Franklin D. Roosevelt Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 14, 2013
1. President Franklin D. Roosevelt Marker
Inscription. "The National Institute of Health speaks the universal language of humanitarianism. It has been devoted throughout its long and distinguished history to furthering the health of all mankind....In dedicating this Institute, I dedicate it to the underlying philosophy of public health, to the conservation of life, to the wise use of the vital resources of our nation."
 
Location. 38° 59.947′ N, 77° 6.084′ W. Marker is in Bethesda, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Center Drive, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is on a pilaster to the right of the front door of Building 1, the James A. Shannon Building on the NIH campus. Marker is in this post office area: Bethesda MD 20892, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Louis Stokes Laboratories (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Centennial Anchor (about 600 feet away); Tree of Hippocrates (approx. ¼ mile away but has been reported missing); a different marker also named Tree of Hippocrates (approx. 0.3 miles away); Raven and the Sun (approx. 0.3 miles away); A Totem For Healing
President Franklin D. Roosevelt Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 15, 2013
2. President Franklin D. Roosevelt Marker
(approx. 0.3 miles away); Bear and the Steelhead (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Tree of Hippocrates (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Bethesda.
 
Also see . . .  Listen to Roosevelt's Speech (MP3). (Submitted on August 16, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
 
Additional comments.
1. The Dedication
Lyons in her 2006 book Acres of Science describes the dedication of the Bethesda campus this way:

[O]n October 31, 1940, Roosevelt stood between the white columns on the front porch Building 1 to dedicate the campus. An estimated 3,000 public and private doctors, Public Health Service (PHS) employees, and Montgomery County residents attended the ceremony on the warm afternoon. Roosevelt’s brief speech made three points. First, with the United States closely watching the war in Europe, Roosevelt stressed that total defense meant not only guns and airplanes, but mobilization of health and medical resources. He stated that the NIH had been devoted to “furthering the health of all mankind.” Its new mission, he declared, must be to “recruit not only men and materials but also knowledge and science in
President Franklin D. Roosevelt image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 14, 2013
3. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Close-up of bas relief on marker
the service of national strength.”

Second, Roosevelt emphasized that “neither the American people nor their government intend to socialize medical practice any more than they plan to socialize industry.” This was Roosevelt’s strongest statement up until that time trying to calm the organized medical profession. Some feared that Roosevelt would establish a national health care system administered by the federal government. The American Medical Association strongly opposed any such plan. “No one has a greater appreciation than I of the skill and self-sacrifice of the medical profession. And there can be no substitute for the personal relationship between doctor and patient which is characteristic and a source of strength of medical practice in our land,” Roosevelt assured his audience.

And third, Roosevelt lauded the Public Health Service, saying, “it is only recently in the past few years that the Federal Government has indicated that it can do infinitely more–that disease disregards state lines as well as national–that among the States there is inequality of opportunity for health–that in such cases the Public Health Service is helping, and must continue to help, man greatly.” Roosevelt highlighted the establishment of the National Cancer Institute and warned that better transportation around the world
Building 1, The James A. Shannon Building image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 14, 2013
4. Building 1, The James A. Shannon Building
meant more exposure to all kinds of disease.

At the end of his speech, Roosevelt turned to Helen Wilson and thanked her family for the donation of their land for the NIH. He told her, “I voice for America, and for the stricken world, our hopes, our prayers, our faith, in the power of man’s humanity to man.”
    — Submitted August 16, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.

 
Categories. Science & Medicine
 
The Front Door of Building 1 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 15, 2013
5. The Front Door of Building 1
President Franklin D. Roosevelt October 31, 1940 image. Click for full size.
By NIH Almanac
6. President Franklin D. Roosevelt October 31, 1940
President Franklin D. Roosevelt October 31, 1940 image. Click for full size.
By NIH Almanac
7. President Franklin D. Roosevelt October 31, 1940
Detail as used in on the marker
James A. Shannon Building<br>1<br>National Institutes of Health image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 14, 2013
8. James A. Shannon Building
1
National Institutes of Health
U. S. Public Health Service - 1798 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 14, 2013
9. U. S. Public Health Service - 1798
Public Health Service seal on the classical pediment of Building 1.
Plaque in the front foyer on Building 1 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 15, 2013
10. Plaque in the front foyer on Building 1
This Institute is dedicated to the investigation of matters pertaining to the Public Health.

In the year 1887 a bacteriological laboratory was established in the Marine Hospital. New York City. Four years later the laboratory was transferred to Washington and quartered with administrative offices at New Jersey Avenue and B Street, Southeast. In 1901 the Congress appropriated $35,000 for a building for the Hygienic Laboratory which was erected as Twenty-fifth and E Streets, Northwest, on land acquired by transfer from the Navy Department. The establishment on that site was enlarged by on building authorized by Congress in 1918, and two buildings authorized in 1930. In the latter year, by act of Congress, the name was changed to The National Institute of Health.

In the year 1935,Mr. and Mrs. Luke I. Wilson of Bethesda, Maryland. donated a tract of land to the United States Government for the use of the National Institute of Health. In the following year funds were allocated for the construction of buildings on this site. Work was begun on the first three buildings of this group in 1938.
Plaque in the front foyer of Building 1 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 15, 2013
11. Plaque in the front foyer of Building 1
Erected during
The Administration of
Franklin D Roosevelt
President of the United States of America
Henry Morgenthau Jr
Secretary of the Treasury
Thomas Parran
Surgeon General
Lewis R Thompson
Director of the National Institute of Health
Christian Joy Peoples
Director of Procurement
W Englebert Reynolds
Assistant Director for Public Buildings
Louis A Simon
Supervising Architect
Neal A Melick
Supervising Engineer
J Winthrop Wolcott Jr
Consulting Architect
1938
James A.Shannon image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 15, 2013
12. James A.Shannon
James A.Shannon, MD. PhD (1904-1994)
Director NIH, 1955-1968
Sculptor: Elaine Pear Cohen (1920-1995)

James Shannon is remembered as the NIH director under whom there was a rapid expansion in federally funded biomedical research. In 1983, Building 1 itself was renamed in Shannon's honor.
Bust inside Building 1
James A. Shannon image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 15, 2013
13. James A. Shannon
James A. Shannon MD, PhD (1904-1994)
Director, NIH, 1955-1968
Artist: Bjorn Peter Egeli

Widely recognized for his original research in kidney function, James Shannon led a project during World War II to develop antimalarial drugs at Goldwater Memorial Hospital in New York City. In 1949 he came to NIH as the first intramural director of the National Heart Institute, bringing many future NIH scientific leaders with him. During his NIH directorship, Shannon presided over rapid expansion of the NIH often remembered as "the Golden Years." In 1983, Building 1 was named the James A. Shannon Building to commemorate his many contributions to NIH.
Portrait inside Building 1
Rm. 126, Building 1 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 15, 2013
14. Rm. 126, Building 1
Director, NIH
Deputy Director, NIH
Big Red 1 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 14, 2013
15. Big Red 1
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 422 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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