tv Reel America Man Against Microbe - 1932 CSPAN December 11, 2020 5:08pm-5:25pm EST
highly contested races in u.s. history. the outcome was not decided until five weeks after voters went to the polls when the u.s. supreme court stopped a florida recount. this ultimately awarded the state's electoral votes and the presidency to governor bush. tonight we begin with al gore's concession speech from december 13th, 2000 followed by george w. bush's victory remarks later that same evening from austin, texas. watch beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern and enjoy american history tv every weekend on c-span3. 20 years ago one of the most highly contested races in u.s. mis -- history took place. between texas governor george w. bush and vice president al gore. saturday morning at 8:30 eastern we look back at the election with columnist e.j. dionne and william kristol, the bulwark editor at large.
a catastrophe that was typical of that and the preceding ages. an epidemic of the plague that had been raging in europe broke out in a huge frenzy in the capital in 1665. hundreds fell ill every day. many of them died. people were stricken on the streets. everyone fled from the victims for fear of the dreaded disease. but by far the most horrible element of the tragedy was the mystery of its origins. no one knew who or what carried the plague. the solution finally came by way of this odd little contraption. does anyone know what this is? >> it looks like a can opener. [ laughter ]
>> no, it isn't a can opener. it's the first microscope. it may look like a toy to us, its importance to human life is tremendous. it's the connecting link between our science and the distant past when the world of germs was unknown to man. in 1683, not very long after the london calamity, thomas vinhook ground a lens to create the first magnifying glass of that day. this dutch naturalist set this ens into a crude frame, and thus constructed this first microscope. he examined drinking water. imagine the astonishment of his friends when he showed them tiny animals swimming around in the fluid. he even examined the teeth of human beings, too small to be seen with the naked eye.
this was man's first sight of the millions of tiny germs with which we come into contact every day. he had opened a new world but did not appreciate the porps importance of his discovery. in the following century, many scientists studied these germs. in 1762, a doctor contended that these diseases were caused by these invisible living things. but no one wanted to hear about the visions of a dreamer. the medical man of the time demanded proof, but science was still waiting for the great genius of the microscope. it took 100 years to find him, but when he came, he revolutionized the entire field of medicine. since 1860, all advances in the work of germs had been based on the fundamental research of louis pasteur.
in a test he proved that germs would not develop in a germ-free flask. he recognized the fact that these cells cause fermentation, but or organisms ruin the beverages. he experimented and found he could kill the organisms with heat. the first of the methods discovered for killing germs. this may be demonstrated by placing an active culture bacteria under the microscope. applying heat and then observing the germs forming in clusters as they die. this use of heat and pasturization is today vital in safeguarding many of our foods, particularly milk.
these germs, if present, are eliminated bypassing the milk over heated coils, so when it is served, it should contain nothing but the things that ensure good health. in england, dr. lichter conceived the idea that germs might be responsible for infection of wounds. in those days, an operation was a gamble of death from blood poisoning. he thought he could combat this by killing the germs in and around the wound. he bathed the tools in the same chemical solution. he destroyed the germs with chemicals just as pasteur had done with heat. this was the second of the methods discovered in killing germs. the modern antiseptic methods of surgery are from lister's early
ideas. throughout france, the sheep were dying in large numbers of the disease known as anthrax. the great pasteur found the germs responsible for this scourge and found methods to destroy them. he also prepared a vaccine that enabled the sheep to resist the anthrax germ. this is the third method for combatting germs. with vaccines and anti-toxins. it was by this method that he achieved the crowni ining glory his career, the successful fight against rabies or hydrophobia. it was one of the greatest benefactors of the human race. his experiments, in scientific medical investigation. in the next 50 years, more progress was made in medicine than in the previous 2,000 years.
it's hard to believe that as late as 1832, new york was fighting many infectious diseases such as cholera and smallpox. all crow vaccinations would have wiped out this disease. "the new york post" carried the story of an epidemic in canada. diphtheria arrived and spread its fearful hand over europe, as well. in 1883, the germ was discovered that caused cholera. later, the typhoid germ was revealed by two german scientists. and in 1883, a germ was discover ed that caused diphtheria.
on christmas eve 1891 in a hospital in berlin, a little girl was fighting for her life against this murderous disease. one ray of hope lay in the skill who would be making experiments under dr. koch. he had successfully cured diphtheria in animals with an anti-toxin. he was now ready to take that next step from the laboratory to the sick child. he brought his wonderful serum. in a moment, the injection had been completed, and the contribution he made to humanity that christmas eve will remain an everlasting symbol of his go goodwill to men.
once again man had conquered germs. his achievement was great, but he saw that better than cure the disease would be to prevent it. this ideal had now been achieved, add today we have several methods to protect our children against lip they aria. modern children are proud to receive this treatment, which provides a shield against this disease. but not all of these infinitesimal germs are known to man. some are essential to his life. they live in the soil, make it possible for us to grow the fruits, grains and vegetation so necessary to the existence of animals and mankind. but the injurious germs and the causes of those diseases not due
to germs must be discovered, controlled, and if possible, destroyed. many of these causes have come to be nope in the last 50 years. but there are others that sti o. the cause of rheumatic fever and the cancer are among the baffling mysteries yet to be solved. but there is every reason to believe that the scientists will beful in the future. year after year, they struggle unreelementing, sometimes sacrificing their own lives to find new ways of controlling disease. they are fighting the battle of man against microbe, so we may achieve fullness of life and happiness.
you're watching american history tv. every weekend on c-span3, explore our nation's past. c-span3 created by america's cable television companies as a public service and brought to you today by your television provider. weeknights this month, we feature american history tv programs to preview what's available every weekend on c-span3. in the 2000 presidential election, texas governor george w. bush defeated vice president al gore in one of the most highly contested races in u.s. history. the outcome was not decided until five weeks after voters went to the polls when they stopped the florida recount. this ultimately awarded the electoral votes and the presidency to governor bush. tonight we begin with al gore's concession speech in 2000 followed by george w. bush's victory remarks later that same evening from austin, texas. watch beginning at 8:00 p.m.
eastern and enjoy american history tv every weekend on c-span3. 20 years ago, one of the most highly contested presidential races in u.s. history took place, the 2000 presidential contest between texas governor george w. bush and vice president al gore. saturday morning at 8:30 eastern, we look back at the election with white house columnist e.j. dionne and william kristol, editor at large. coed authors of the book "bush v. gore." watch bush v. gore on saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span 3 and c-span's "washington journal." from washington, the combined radio and television industry brings you a special report on the polio vaccine. the public service of the department of health, education
and welfare has been conducting extensive tests on the vaccine, and tomorrow the department is releasing its final report on the results of those tests. here now to give you that report is the surgeon general of the united states public health service, dr. leonard a. sheley. secretary hobby? >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. poliomyelitis and the safety of the soft anti-polio vaccine is vitally important to all of us. scientific processes are often difficult for us to understand as laymen. yet it's important that we understand the results of scientific findings so that we can be intelligent about making decisions about our own children. the public health service of the
united states, whose duty it is to protect the health of a nation, is a core of physicians, scientist, and other professional health workers. it has served us with integrity since 1798. i have asked the surgeon general of the public health service to talk with us tonight about vaccines, and the salk vaccine in particular. he has served as an officer in the service since 1930, and as your surgeon general since 1948. it is my privilege to present a distinguished public servant, dr. leonard a. scheele. >> many questions have been raised in recent weeks about the new vaccine against poliomyelitis. people are asking, is it absolutely safe? does it really protect against
polio? will there be enough vaccine for large-scale use this summer? i will give you the facts about the vaccine as i know them, and i want to give you some idea of the outlook for the future. first, something about the disease itself. polio occurs everywhere in this country and throughout the world. it is caused by a virus so small that its presence cannot be known except by its effect on living animals or on cells in tissue culture. nearly everyone is in repeated contact with the virus, and is infected by it at some time in his life. the disease is generally very mild and goes unnoticed. in cases that come to the attention of physicians, there is fever, sometimes a sore throat, sometimes the muscles act, but recovery is usually prompt. however in about 1% or less of these cases