Medicine: 150 Years of P.H.S.

As unobtrusive as a well-trained butler, the U.S. Public Health Service moves quietly about its job of doctoring for the nation. Unless there is some sudden medical miching malicho (an outbreak of smallpox in New York, or plague in California), the public sees little of its day-to-day workings. Yet the P.H.S. has helped improve the health of every man, woman & child in the U.S. Last week, few people noticed that the P.H.S. was celebrating its 150th birthday.

Rats & Shaving Brushes. The P.H.S. was established in John Adams' administration, on July 16, 1798, to care for ailing seamen. Its job still...