Medicine: Accentuate the Negative

The classic plea of public health officials for treatment of venereal disease is "bring it out in the open." Oklahoma City, which the Army once described as "the worst venereal disease reservoir in the Southwest," responded so warmly that the health officials were slightly aghast. Once the kiddies were safely tucked in bed, radio used the word syphilis out loud; tear sheets on downtown lamp posts extolled the penicillin treatment; a Unitarian minister opened his chapel as a blood-testing station after the regular Sunday service.

This circus approach attracted the crowds. At the end of 13 days, 10,800 volunteers had been tested....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!