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…Saw the reelection of President Woodrow Wilson and the election of Montana Republican Jeanette Rankin, the first woman ever to serve in the House of Representatives.
… The British would suffer terrible losses in the Battle of the Somme. Over one million British soldiers would die in the engagement; in what has been called the bloodiest day in British history, over 57,000 Brits were killed on the first day.
…The Saturday Evening Post published its first Norman Rockwell cover. Over the next fifty years the artist would become forever linked to the publication producing some 323 covers.
…Saw the opening of the first Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Memphis, Tenn., Nathan’s Hot Dog Stand in Coney Island, N.Y., and the first appearance of “Mr. Peanut” of Planters Peanut fame.
…Gustav Holst completed his magnum opus, The Planets. A symphonic suite comprised of individual movements for each planet, Holst’s work would become one of the most popular pieces of classic music of the twentieth century.
In 1916, the Navy Medical Department on the verge of entering the Great War consisted of 45 dentists, 1,585 hospital corpsmen, 86 nurses, and 600 physicians; there were also 109 physicians serving in the Medical Reserves. Surgeon General William Braisted would help urged the increase of the Hospital Corps. The Navy operated 19 hospitals stateside and abroad in Annapolis, Md., Brooklyn, N.Y., Cañacao, P.I., Chelsea, Mass., Great Lakes, Ill., Guam, Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), Las Animas, Colo., Mare Island, Calif., Narragansett Bay, R.I., Norfolk, Va., Olongapo, P.I., Philadelphia, Pa., Port Royal, S.C., Portsmouth, N.H., Puget Sound, Wash., Tutuila (America Samoa), Washington, D.C. and Yokohama (Japan). USS Solace was the only hospital ship still in commission. Hospitals in Charleston. S.C., Newport, R.I., Norfolk, Va., Pensacola, Fl., and Philadelphia (League Island), Pa. expanded in 1916.
In 1916, the leading causes of death for Navy and Marine Corps personnel were:
Drowning (74), Tuberculosis (39), Gunshot wounds (27), Pneumonia (18), and Burns (11). The number of 74 drowning cases 36 occurred when the armored cruiser USS Memphis was destroyed by tidal waves off of Santo Domingo in August. Venereal disease continued to be a problem with admission rates for Chancroid and Syphilis increasing in 1916. Beginning in August 1916, all venereal cases would lose pay for their time on the sick list.
Original Hospital Corps Rates (Hospital Apprentice, Hospital Apprentice First Class, and Hospital Steward) are replaced by: Hospital Apprentice Second Class, Hospital Apprentice First Class, Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class, Pharmacist’s Mate Second Class, Pharmacist’s Mate First Class, and Chief Pharmacist’s Mate.
While on duty aboard USS Monocacy at Chungking, following the uprising upon the announcement of Yuan-shi-kai as emperor, Asst Surgeon W.B. Hetfield worked with the local Red Cross Society to provide aid to those wounded. He would later publish an article about this experience in the Naval Medical Bulletin (October 1916).
Medical assistance was provided to “American refugees” in Mexico. Navy medical personnel practice obstetrics aboard ships.
In 1916, Submarine surgeon Passed Assistant Surgeon R.W. McDowell advises Surgeon that special care be taken in selecting personnel for submarine duty. McDowell writes, “Not only should officers be given a special physical examination with higher requirements, but special attention should be given to their temperamental qualifications. The safety of a submarine depends absolutely upon the commanding officer or his second in command, and only the carefully selected and trained officer should be detailed for that duty.”