I shall not easily find words to express my gratification at the distinguished honor that has been given to me of presiding over this assembly of the men who have so distinguished themselves in the fields where my own humble services have met with a more than adequate reward; but permit me to say, with all the emphasis I can give to my words, that, standing here under conditions that can never again recur, I am profoundly sensible of the highest distinction of my life.
I am well aware that I owe this place to the fact of my relations to the State Board of Health of Massachusetts, the first boardcreated in this country with the general powers of a central authority in matters concerning the public health.
BOARDS OF HEALTH
So far as the forty-eight states which now compose this Union have enacted laws on sanitary matters, they have
WALCOTT HP. PUBLIC HEALTH IN AMERICA. JAMA. 1912;LIX(15):1335–1340. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270100103001