August 27: First Chemotherapy Treatment in the United States

  On this day in Connecticut history, in 1942, physicians at Yale University made medical history as they administered the first use of intravenous chemotherapy as a cancer treatment in the United States.  This medical milestone was the culmination of years of research, including top-secret experiments involving mustard gas that a handful of Yale doctors…

June 15: Honoring Gladys Tantaquidgeon of the Mohegan Tribe

  June 15, 1999 was officially declared “Gladys Tantaquidegon Day” by Connecticut Governor John Rowland in honor of the 100th birthday of a remarkable medicine woman who became one of the most influential cultural and spiritual leaders of the Mohegan Nation. Born on the Mohegan reservation in southeastern Connecticut in 1899, Gladys Iola Tantaquidegon was…

June 11: The Nation’s First Hospice Facility

    This day in Connecticut history marks an American medical history milestone: the greenlighting of the first hospice care facility in the United States and the realization of nurse Florence Wald’s lifelong dream of providing comprehensive, compassionate care for patients with terminal illnesses. Having spent significant time in hospitals herself as a child due…

May 23: New Polio Vaccine Distributed Across Connecticut

  On this day in 1955, hundreds of schoolchildren in the town of Stafford Springs lined up to be inoculated against polio, as part of a statewide effort to vaccinate young Connecticans against the deadly childhood disease. Polio was the most feared childhood disease of the early 20th century.  An untreatable virus which spread quickly…

May 2: Pediatrician Benjamin Spock Born in New Haven

  Today in 1903, pediatrician Benjamin Spock, the most influential doctor of the Baby Boomer generation, was born in New Haven.  A graduate of Yale University and Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, Spock is considered to be the first doctor to apply Freudian psychoanalysis to child care. In 1946, Spock published The Common…

April 2: The Flu Pandemic of 1918-1919

  On this day in 1919, the medical paper “Complications of Influenza” was read to a desperately worried Hartford County Medical Society, who had been fighting a devastating global flu pandemic since the previous September.  This particular strain of flu was unlike any ever seen before, ultimately killing over 600,000 Americans and up to 100…