Happy 132nd Birthday, NIH!

Photo of Dr. Joseph Kinyoun

We keep wishing ourselves happy birthday because as an agency with a long history, we've had a few name changes. But the true beginning of the NIH was in August 1887, when Dr. Joseph Kinyoun became the first and only employee of the new Laboratory of Hygiene of the U.S. Public Health Service (then the Marine Hospital Service). His laboratory was in the Marine Hospital on Staten Island, New York.  Kinyoun helped to bring the new science of bacteriology to the service of protecting the public's health in the United States.

Senator Joseph Ransdell seated at his desk looking directly into camera.

One of the most important events in NIH history happened on May 26, 1930:  the Ransdell Act was signed, creating the National Institute of Health.  #NIH was singular then, springing out of the Hygienic Laboratory of the Public Health Service.  Louisiana Senator Joseph E. Ransdell, pictured here, worked tirelessly to get the bill passed.  This legislation marked a change in the attitude of the U.S. scientific community toward public funding of medical research. 

You can become an expert on Ransdell by reading “Inventing the NIH” by Dr. Victoria Harden https://archive.org/details/inventingnihfede00hard/page/n5