Inaugural publication of Pediatrics® by the AAP
(1948) In the inaugural January 1948 issue of PEDIATRICS, the editor Hugh McCulloch outlined the journal's vision and objectives. He said the journal is "intended to encompass the needs of the whole child in his physiologic, mental, emotional, and social structure. The single word, PEDIATRICS, has been chosen to indicate this catholic intent."
Poliovirus is grown in tissue culture.
(1948) Dr John Enders and his research fellows, Drs Thomas H. Weller and Frederick C. Robbins, successfully grew poliovirus in tissue culture, for which they received the 1954 Nobel Prize in Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts. This technique enabled commercial production of viral vaccines.
First chemotherapeutic agent induces remission of acute leukemia.
(1948) Boston, Massachusetts — Dr Sidney Farber and associates induced remissions of acute leukemia by the use of a folic acid antagonist (aminopterin), the first chemotherapeutic agent for childhood cancer.
Sickle cell anemia termed a molecular disease.
(1949) Palo Alto, California — Drs Linus Pauling and Harvey Itano described sickle cell anemia as a “molecular disease” caused by an abnormal hemoglobin molecule.
(1949) The last case of smallpox in the United States was reported.
National “Child Health Services and Pediatric Education” survey is published.
(1949) The AAP, APS, and the US Children’s Bureau published a national survey, “Child Health Services and Pediatric Education.
” This study had an important influence on the health care of children and on pediatric education.
DTP vaccine proves effective.
(1949) Rochester, New York — Drs W. L. Bradford, Elizabeth Day, and F. C. Morton showed that infants respond to a triple vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP).
First American textbook of pediatric endocrinology is published.
(1950) Baltimore, Maryland — Dr Lawson Wilkins published The Diagnosis and Treatment of Endocrine Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence, the first American textbook of pediatric endocrinology.
Agammaglobulinemia first introduced in article published in Pediatrics.
(1952) Washington, DC — Dr Ogden Bruton described agammaglobulinemia in an original article
published in Pediatrics
First African American pediatrician elected to the APS.
(1952) Washington, DC — Dr Roland Scott, professor of pediatrics at Howard University, was the first black pediatrician elected to the APS.
Dr Virginia Apgar described the Apgar Score for evaluation of the condition of the newborn.
(1952) New York, New York — The Apgar score
comprises 5 components: heart rate, respiratory effort, muscle tone, reflex irritability, and color, each of which is given a score of 0, 1, or 2. The score is now reported at 1 and 5 minutes after birth.
First case of hypochloremia in cystic fibrosis patients with heat stroke described.
(1952) New York, New York — Drs Dorothy Anderson and William Kessler described hypochloremia in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients with heat stroke. A year later, Paul di Sant’Agnese demonstrated marked increases in sweat chloride levels, which became the diagnostic test for CF.
Double helical structure of DNA elucidated.
(1952) Oxford, England — James Watson and Francis Crick elucidated the double helical structure of DNA, for which they received the 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Second Howland Award of the APS awarded.
(1953) New Haven, Connecticut — Dr Grover F. Powers received the second Howland Award of the APS in recognition of his long-time emphasis of the importance of humanistic, psychosocial, and emotional issues and mental retardation in pediatric practice.
Polio vaccine proven effective.
(1954) A national randomized trial of Dr Jonas Salk’s inactivated polio vaccine involving nearly 2 million American children demonstrated the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing paralytic polio.
Normal diploid chromosome number disproven.
(1956) Stockholm, Sweden — Albert Levan established that the normal diploid chromosome number in man was 46, not 48.
Live, attenuated polio vaccine developed.
(1957) Cincinnati, Ohio — Dr Albert Sabin developed a live, attenuated polio vaccine, which was approved for general use in 1963. By the mid-1970s the Sabin live vaccine became nearly universally used in the United States.
First American textbook of pediatric infectious disease published.
(1958) New York, New York — Drs Saul Krugman and Robert Ward published Infectious Diseases of Children, the first American textbook of pediatric infectious diseases.
Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted by the UN.
(1959) United Nations declaration of the Rights of the Child. “THIS DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD to the end that he may have a happy childhood and enjoy for his own good and for the good of society the rights and freedoms herein set forth….” To read the full declaration, click here
Trisomy of chromosome 21 described in Down syndrome.
(1959) Dr Jerome Lejeune described trisomy of chromosome 21 in Down syndrome, Paris, France. This was followed by extensive investigations of chromosomal syndromes in man, further advanced by techniques for banding and identifying deletions and translocations.
Deficiency of surfactant discovered in lungs of dying infants.
(1959) Baltimore, Maryland — Drs Mary Ellen Avery and Jere Mead described a deficiency of surface-active material (surfactant) in lungs of infants dying of respiratory distress syndrome.
The first American textbook of pediatric hematology/oncology is published.
(1960) New York, New York — Dr Carl H. Smith published Blood Diseases of Infancy and Childhood, the first American textbook of pediatric hematology/oncology.
Measles vaccine introduced.
(1960) Boston, Massachusetts — Live, attenuated rubella (measles) vaccine introduced by Drs John Enders, Samuel Katz, and associates. Dr Katz’s children were among the first to receive this vaccine.
Academic Pediatric Association is founded.
(1960) Founding of the Association for Ambulatory Pediatric Services, now the Academic Pediatric Association
. The word “ambulatory” sparked controversy as it was not a word commonly used at the time.
First sub-board certification examination conducted by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP).
(1961) The ABP conducted examinations for sub-board certification in pediatric cardiology, followed in 1974 by pediatric hematology/oncology, pediatric nephrology, and pediatric infectious disease; in 1975 by neonatology and perinatal medicine; and in 1978 by pediatric endocrinology. Specialty sub-boards in pediatric pulmonology, critical care medicine, rheumatology, and others were established subsequently.
The term “battered child syndrome” was coined by Dr Henry Kempe.
(1962) Dr Kempe and his colleagues produced “The Battered Child Syndrome
,” a paper that detailed the identification and recognition of child abuse.
The first study of Reye syndrome published.
(1963) Australia — Dr R. D. K. Reye described a syndrome of encephalopathy, fatty degeneration of the liver following a prodromal viral infection, which was given the eponym Reye syndrome.
Test for detecting phenylketonuria is introduced.
(1963) Albany, New York — Dr Robert Guthrie described a test for detecting phenylketonuria in the newborn period. This was followed by methods for detecting other metabolic, genetic, and endocrinologic diseases by mass neonatal screening, now carried on in all of the United States.
(1965) Title XIX (Medicaid
) was enacted by Congress.
The first NICU in America opens.
(1965) The first American newborn intensive care unit (NICU), designed by Dr Louis Gluck, was opened in New Haven, Connecticut. After the 1976 report “Toward Improving the Outcome of Pregnancy” by the AAP, American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and the National Foundation, premature care became increasingly centralized in regional NICUs with dramatic improvements in survival.
Rubella vaccine developed.
(1966) Pearl River, New York — Live, attenuated rubella vaccine was developed by Drs Harry M. Meyer, Paul D. Parkman, and Theodore C. Panos.
Recognition and prevention of maternal Rh sensitization by anti-Rh antibody.
(1966) New York, New York — Dr Victor Freda and associates described prevention of maternal Rh sensitization by anti-Rh antibody. Rh erythroblastosis became a rare disease in the United States.
First successful bone marrow transplant for severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome.
(1968) Minneapolis, Minnesota — Dr Robert Good performed a successful bone marrow transplant for severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome. Good also introduced the concept of T- and B-lymphocyte subsets.
First American textbook on pediatric pulmonary medicine published.
(1968) Charlottesville, Virginia — Dr Edwin L Kendig Jr published Pulmonary Disorders, the first American textbook on pediatric pulmonary medicine.
(1969) Debut of Sesame Street
The term “new morbidity” is introduced.
(1970–1980) Rochester, New York and Indianapolis, Indiana — Drs Robert Haggerty and Morris Green described the “new morbidity” of modern American pediatric practice.
First American textbook of nephrology published.
(1975) Buffalo, New York — Drs M. I. Rubin and T. M. Barrett published Pediatric Nephrology, the first American textbook of nephrology.
Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded for studies of kuru and slow virus infections.
(1976) Dr D. Carleton Gajdusek, a pediatrician, received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his studies of kuru and slow virus infections.
Smallpox declared eradicated.
(1977) The WHO reported that smallpox was eliminated worldwide.
First definitive historic text on American pediatrics published.
(1979) Boston, Massachusetts — Dr Thomas E. Cone Jr published the History of American Pediatrics, the first definitive historic text on American pediatrics, 1600–1979.
Nobel Prize awarded for the development of the CAT scan.
(1979) Drs Godfrey N. Hounsfield and Allan M. Cormack received the Nobel Prize for the development of computed axial tomography (CAT) scans. This was followed by major advances in diagnostic imaging, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasonography.
First successful kidney transplantation performed.
(1980) Dr Joseph E. Murray performed a kidney transplantation, Boston, Massachusetts. This ushered in the modern era of transplantation of kidney, liver, heart, and other organs. Dr E. Donnell Thomas performed and studied bone marrow transplantation for a variety of blood diseases. Murray and Thomas received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1990.
Link between aspirin ingestion and Reye syndrome reported.
(1980) Chamblee, Georgia — Dr K. M. Starko reported an association between aspirin ingestion and Reye syndrome. In 1987, Dr J. D. Arrowsmith documented a sharp decrease in the incidence of Reye syndrome paralleling a marked decrease in aspirin use in American children.
HIV/AIDS epidemic begins.
(1980–1985) The beginning of the human immunodeficiency/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic in the United States that soon affected hemophiliacs and newborns of infected mothers.
Prophylactic penicillin shown to reduce early infectious mortality of infants with sickle cell anemia.
(1985) The National Cooperative Study of Sickle Cell Diseases showed that the use of prophylactic penicillin greatly reduced the high early infectious mortality of infants with sickle cell anemia. This provided a rationale for neonatal screening for hemoglobinopathies, now conducted in 40 states.
Polysaccharide vaccine developed for HiB.
(1985) Rochester, New York — Drs David Smith and Porter Anderson developed polysaccharide vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae type B, This and the subsequent development of a protein-conjugated vaccine resulted in the virtual disappearance of invasive HiB disease (meningitis and epiglottitis) in the United States.