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…the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre was a worldwide sensation. Everone from Picasso to the poet Apollinaire was look as a possible suspect.
…Standard Oil, the world’s largest monopoly, was dissolved by order of the U.S. Supreme Court.
…a fire in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York erupted would kill 146 garment workers; in the wake of this industrial tragedy, legislators would introduce progressive new labor reforms.
…In sports, the first Indianapolis 500 race is held at Indianapolis Speedway. The 500-lap race was finally won by driver Ray Harroun who reached a peak speed of 74.4 miles per hour in his “Marmon Wasp.”
…Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen would make history becoming the first person to reach the South Pole. Aviator Glenn Curtiss demonstrated the first sea plane off of San Diego, Calif.
…Literature in 1911 was marked Hugo Guernsback’s curiously named “124C 41+” a 12-part serial in his science fiction periodical, Modern Electronics. Guernsback (and not as it is sometimes assumed Victory Hugo) would later serve as the namesake for the annual Hugo Awards for best in science fiction. Civil War veteran Ambrose Bierce would publish his satirical Devil’s Dictionary.
In 1911, the Navy Medical Department remained a small peacetime organization consisting of 1,138 hospital corpsmen, 86 nurses, and 314 physicians; there were also three acting assistant surgeons (temporary/non-commissioned) serving in the Navy that year. The Navy operated 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., San Juan, P.R., Sitka, Alaska, Tutuila (America Samoa), Washington, D.C. and Yokohama (Japan). Naval Hospital Pensacola was placed on inactive status. USS Solace was the only hospital ship still in commission.
In 1911, the leading causes of death for Navy and Marine Corps personnel were: Drowning (38), Tuberculosis (135), Gunshot (20), and Typhoid Fever (15). Mental diseases (1,343), Tuberculosis (265), Flat Feet (168), Heart Disease (124), and Deformities 118) were the leading causes of medical retirements and discharges in the Navy and Marine Corps. Gonorrhea (5,658), Tonsillitis (2,767), Skin Ailments (2,252) and Chancroid (1,929) were the most prevalent diseases and ailments in 1911. Navy and Marine Corps personnel suffered from 9,252 cases of venereal diseases (Gonorrhea, Chancroid, Syphilis) in 1911.
In 1911, Surgeon General Charles Stokes warns Naval Academy cadets that football may be an unnecessary hazard and the “disabling after effects are even more objectionable.”
In March 1911, a wounded homing pigeon marked “U.S. M0179” lands in front of the solarium at the Naval Hospital Washington, D.C. The bird blood-stained with a bullet wound underneath the right wing was taken in by a Navy physician, treated and soon released.
In January 1911, the Naval Hospital Washington admits a Filipino youth suffering with leprosy. The patient, who had been working as a domestic for a naval hospital, had been suffering from the condition for close to two months before being admitted to the hospital where he was placed in quarantine.
In December 1911, Hospital Apprentice Fred Henry McGuire (1890-1955) would earn make history as the third Hospital Corpsman to be awarded the Medal of Honor. McGuire's citation reads as follow: “While attached to the USS Pampang, McGuire was one of a shore party moving to capture Mundang, on the island of Basilan, Philippine Islands, on the morning of 24 September 1911. Ordered to take station within 100 yards of a group of nipa huts close to the trail, McGuire advanced and stood guard as the leader and his scout party first searched the surrounding deep grasses then moved into the open area before the huts. Instantly enemy Moros opened point-blank fire on the exposed men and approximately 20 Moros charged the small group from inside the huts and from other concealed positions. McGuire, responding to the calls from help, was one of the first on the scene. After emptying his rifle into the attackers, he closed in with rifle, using it as a club to wage fierce battle until his comrades arrived on the field, when he rallied to the aid of his dying leader and other wounded. Although himself wounded, McGuire ministered tirelessly and efficiently to those who had been struck down, thereby saving the lives of two who otherwise might have succumbed to enemy-inflicted wounds.”
Fred McGuire retired from naval service in 1939 but was recalled to active duty to work at the BUMED Hospital Corps Division during World War II. He retired yet again in October 1945 as a Chief Pharmacist’s Mate. He died in 1955 and is buried at Springfield National Cemetery, Springfield, MO (Section 29, Grave 332).
Navy nurses were sent to medical facilities overseas including Canacao, Philippines; Guam; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Haiti; Honolulu, HI; Samoa; and the Virgin Islands. In 1911, Navy Medical Department established training schools in Guam, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands where Navy nurses educated native populations in health and hygiene. Surgeon General William Braisted would later state that the work of the nurses stationed at these training facilities is “entirely altruistic and the interest and labors of the members of the Navy Nurse Corps is fully appreciated.”
On June 17, 1911, a Navy horse-drawn ambulance on its way to pick up an officer awaiting a surgical procedure collided with an awning pole in front of a grocer at Fulton Street and Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. The damage to the grocer’s store and the a chewing gum "slot machine" amounted to $17.75. (or $443 in today's money).
From 1902 to 1911, the Navy operated its first Hospital Corps School. Known as the School of Instruction, the original course comprised three months of instruction and drill in nursing, elementary anatomy, physiology, elementary hygiene, materia medica and pharmacy, bandaging and splints, first aid, discipline and drill. After the course of instruction, students were then assigned to a hospital for practical instruction.
The Hospital Corps School of Instruction operated in Norfolk, Va. from May 26, 1902 to 1907 and in Washington, D.C. (at the Old Naval Hospital) from October 1, 1907 through February 1, 1911. The Navy did not re-open a Hospital Corps School until 1914 (Hospital Corps School, Newport, R.I.)