Commemorating CDC's 60th Anniversary
This month marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of CDC, which was founded as the Communicable Disease Center on July 1, 1946, in Atlanta, Georgia (1). To commemorate this anniversary, MMWR is departing from its usual report format to present a series of commentaries by past directors and the current director of CDC. The directors were invited to give their personal perspectives on the key public health achievements and challenges that occurred during their tenures.
Reports from MMWR and the media have provided contemporary accounts of the events that shaped CDC over the years. Other histories have been researched by CDC authors (2) or drawn from interviews with staff members and partners whose achievements contributed to the CDC public health legacy (3,4). The unique views provided by CDC directors might reinforce these perspectives or reveal something much different.
This week's issue of MMWR contains the first Director's Perspective, written by David J. Sencer, who served as director of CDC during 1966--1977. Commentaries by other CDC directors will be published in the months ahead.
- CDC. Historical perspectives: history of CDC. MMWR 1996;45: 526--30.
- Thacker SB, Dannenberg AL, Hamilton DH. Epidemic Intelligence Service of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 50 years of training and service in applied epidemiology. Am J Epidemiol 2001;154:985--92.
- Etheridge EW. Sentinel for health: a history of the Centers for Disease Control. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press; 1992.
- McKenna M. Beating back the devil: on the frontlines with the disease detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster; 2004.
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