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JAMA 100 Years Ago
March 17, 1999

Practical Municipal Sanitation.

Author Affiliations

Edited by Jennifer Reiling, Editorial Assistant.

JAMA. 1999;281(11):970B. doi:10.1001/jama.281.11.970

To the Editor:—The twentieth century promises to be an eminently practical age. Theorists, dreamers and blatants bawling reform are giving place to the doers of good, the active workers in the ranks of humanitarians. The gospel of health, mental and physical, spread by practical enthusiasts, gives greater reason to hope for the civilization of the heathen than the preaching by fanatic zealots, who have only succeeded in opening the gate to their syphilization and tuberculization. The ardent missionary men and women who have labored to clothe naked savages in red flannel petticoats and thereby taught them, by studiously hiding their sexual organs, to give them a prominence that had never occurred to their virginal minds, when a surf bath and a fresh coating of cocoanut oil were their daily toilet, have wasted an immense amount of energy, that, directed the betterment of the really unclean and benighted savages of our own great cities, would have enormously reduced their sick- and death rates.

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