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Society Snapshot: Honoring the Past. Shaping the Future.

The Wisconsin Medical Society carries with it a rich history, and throughout 2016—our 175th anniversary—we’re exploring the past as we look to the future. Each week in Medigram, “Society Snapshot” will highlight the physicians and events that shaped the history of both the organization and the profession of medicine in Wisconsin over the past 175 years.

An 1841 perspective
The Territorial Medical Society of Wisconsin first came into existence on Feb. 19, 1841, with the passage of Act 53 by the Territorial Legislature of Wisconsin. When Gov. Henry Dodge signed the Act, U.S. President Martin Van Buren was finishing out his one and only term. It was seven years before Wisconsin became the 30th state in the Union on May 29, 1848, three years before the first telegraph message was sent from Washington to Baltimore on May 24, 1844, and more than 20 years before the U.S. Civil War began in April of 1861.

Act 53 designated 13 physicians as the incorporators of the Society—including two early presidents, Bushnell B. Cary, MD, and Mason C. Darling, MD—and authorized the physicians and their associates to assemble at the Capitol in Madison the following year “and form themselves into a society.” Their first meeting was held Feb. 3, 1842.

Test your knowledge
Do you know who the first Society president was? E-mail your answer to Jennifer Wieman by next Wednesday at noon for a chance to win. The answer and winner will be in next week’s “Society Snapshot.”

Good luck!

Back to January 14, 2016 Medigram