July 1

Centers for Disease Control

July 1, 1946 - Atlanta

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -– the CDC — is located in Atlanta thanks to a pest.

During World War II, the Office of Malaria Control in War Areas operated in Atlanta to control malaria in the southeastern states where the mosquito thrived. Most military personnel were trained in the area. American soldiers fought diseases as much as the enemy, particularly malaria in the South Pacific.

In 1946, Dr. Joseph Mountin converted the Offices of Malaria Control into the Communicable Disease Center, a public health agency that would monitor and control infectious diseases. The battle soon widened to include perfecting the polio vaccine, vaccination and disease surveillance, and perhaps its greatest achievement, eradicating smallpox. The agency eventually became the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is on the frontline of the war against biological terrorism.

America’s premier public health agency was established in Atlanta on July 1, 1946, Today in Georgia History.