70 Acres of Science

The National Institute of Health Moves to Bethesda 

Michele Lyons - Curator, National Institutes of Health DeWitt Stetten Jr., Museum of Medical Research 

The NIH is the biomedical research organization of the federal government. Why is a government agency located in Bethesda, apparently masquerading as a university? The simple answer is that in the late 1930s, the NIH needed more room and a wealthy couple donated some of their land. The more complex answer involves domestic politics, social reform, international relations, economic depression, scientific advances, and personal ambitions. 

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