During this decade, Penicillin was unveiled to the public in 1945; Slinky toys were just hitting the shelves; and for the first time in history, we were able to capture a moment in time with Polaroid cameras. Benadryl was discovered by George Rieveschl, a chemical engineer from Ohio, and Americans could now heat up their food within seconds all because of the microwave.


In this era, the full body X-ray was developed, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, a cure for polio was invented, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was founded. The first successful living-donor transplant (a kidney) was performed on a set of identical twins, and a resuscitator that was small enough to be used on an infant was developed in 1954.


During this time, Generation X (baby boomers) were born, birth control pills were approved for use, John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960 and then assassinated in 1963, the United States invaded Cuba, Martin Luther King Jr. gave the “I have a dream” speech at Capitol Hill, the American Heart Association announced a nonsmoking campaign, and a Medicare Health insurance plan for Americans over the age of 65 was first instituted.


The decade that paved the way for the Civil Rights Movement was also the decade that legalized abortion and lowered the voting age in the United States. Cigarette ads were banned from the radio and television and the first test-tube baby was born in Oldham, England. Douglas Longenecker, MD, of Dayton, OH, established Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine and the last trip to the moon happened in 1972.


During this period, the AIDS epidemic spurred while smallpox was eradicated following a global immunization campaign. Bertha Bouroncle, MD, at The Ohio State University identified hairy cell leukemia, and then developed a lifesaving drug protocol to treat it. While kids across the nation were emulating Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dance moves, Oprah launched her own television show and the royal wedding of the decade took place between Prince Charles and Princess Diana.


Known for the AOL dial-up tone, this decade inflicted fear over Y2K and launched the worldwide web. In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed and the United States discovered the first vaccination for Hepatitis A and Lyme disease. With both the Internet and popular search engine Google being founded in this era, this decade provided innovation that changed the way we receive and share information forever.


With both Facebook and Twitter being launched, this period in time is known as the beginning of the digital age. Steve Jobs gave us a whole new way to listen to music by launching the iPod, and Barack Obama was elected as the first Black president of the United States.


The first HPV vaccine was approved for use and the Affordable Care Act, passed by Congress in 2010, helped to provide health insurance for all Americans. The rise of social media acted as a catalyst for many social movements including Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, and played an engaging role in the 2016 Presidential Election between Hillary Clinton (the first female presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party) and Donald Trump.


In March 2020, the world froze as SARS-CoV-2, better known as COVID-19, was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Association. The American healthcare system was challenged like never before and the implementation of primary care was forever changed as telemedicine became essential. As of 2023, COVID cases are still present and the public is encouraged to get COVID-19 booster vaccines and mask when they feel sick.