No Magic Bullet: A Social History of Venereal Disease in the United States since 1880

By Allan M. Brandt | Go to book overview

IV
"Shadow on the Land":
Thomas Parran and the New Deal

1

In November 1934 the Columbia Broadcasting Company scheduled a radio address by New York State Health Commissioner Thomas Parran, Jr., on future goals in the area of public health. Parran planned to review the major problems confronting public health officers in their battle against disease. But the talk was never delivered. Moments before air-time, CBS informed him that he could not mention syphilis and gonorrhea by name; in response to this decision, Parran refused to go on. Listeners who had tuned in to hear the address heard piano melodies instead. Parran, reacting angrily to being censored, pointed out the hypocrisy in the standards for radio broadcasting. In a press release issued by his office the next day, he commented that his speech should have been considered more acceptable than "the veiled obscenity permitted by Columbia in the vaudeville acts of some of their commercial programs." 1

Fifteen years earlier, during the anti-venereal crusade during World War I, the conspiracy of silence had appeared to be defeated. Newspapers and magazines had dramatically publicized the problem; Congress and the military addressed it forthrightly. In the following years, however, the anti-venereal campaign had faltered. After the radical interventions that the war brought on -- not only in politics and economics, but socially as well -- America returned to a normalcy" that also pervaded public health efforts.

The 1920s, despite their apparent frivolity, marked less of a watershed in the area of sexual morality than has often been assumed. Though among the young there was a distinct increase in sexual activity, a strong crosscurrent of demands for moral rectitude and gentility persisted. 2 While women took champagne baths at speakeasies and couples went on jaunts in roadsters along country lanes, respectability was reasserted in many quarters. It is important to remember that if the twenties marked the decade of bathtub gin, so, too, was it the decade of prohibition. In spite of the new openness towards sexuality, the sexually transmitted diseases were drawn once again behind a veil of secrecy. Until the 1930s the venereal problem would go largely unheeded.

During the New Deal, Thomas Parran would commit the nation to the erad

-122-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
No Magic Bullet: A Social History of Venereal Disease in the United States since 1880
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 266

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.