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CDC's 50th Anniversary -- July 1, 1996

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- CDC -- traces its roots to an organization established in the southeastern United States during World War II to prevent malaria among personnel training on U.S. military bases. On July 1, 1996, CDC formally celebrates its 50th anniversary as a federal agency dedicated to ensuring the public's health through close cooperation with state and local health departments and with other organizations committed to improving health in the United States and throughout the world.

To commemorate this anniversary, this issue of MMWR presents reports that offer special perspectives: a historical overview of CDC; national morbidity data from June 8, 1946, and June 22, 1996; reprints of articles published in CDC's earlier years -- reports about an outbreak of smallpox and an outbreak of pentachlorophenol poisoning in newborn infants; and information resources about CDC. In addition, this issue reports the recent historic decision by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists to designate the prevalence of cigarette smoking as a notifiable condition for national public health surveillance. A "late-breaking" report summarizes the investigation of a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora (an emerging pathogen) infection and underscores the continuing need to address new public health threats. Subsequent issues of MMWR this year may include reprints of selected reports of historical interest.

CDC and its employees invite you to use CDC services and learn more about CDC by visiting our site on the World-Wide Web (, by obtaining copies of information resources listed in this issue of MMWR, and by visiting the Global Health Odyssey exhibit at CDC headquarters in Atlanta. David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D. Director, CDC

Disclaimer   All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from ASCII text into HTML. This conversion may have resulted in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users should not rely on this HTML document, but are referred to the electronic PDF version and/or the original MMWR paper copy for the official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

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