Issue Date: November 10, 1972
City: Cincinnati, OH
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed, engraved
Color: Black and multicolored
Commemorates the 120th anniversary of the American Pharmaceutical Association and pays tribute to more than 100,000 druggists. U.S. #1473 pictures a mortar and pestle, Bowl of Hygieia, and 19th century medicine bottles.
Hygieia was the Greek goddess of health. Hygieia holding a patera (medicine bowl) with a snake coiling around her and about to eat from the bowl has come to symbolize pharmacy. The snake represents the patient and its choice of whether or not to take the medicine to help itself. The American Pharmacists Association has adopted the Bowl of Hygieia as its symbol.
American Pharmacists Association
In the mid-1850s, there were no laws regulating the pharmacy practice. Patients were often given treatment based on their symptoms, instead of diagnosing a specific disease. And anyone with enough money could open their own apothecary.
So in the fall of 1852, a group of 20 men met in Philadelphia to discuss these issues as well as one of their greatest concerns, drug quality. Among those present was William Procter, Jr., who later came to be known as the Father of American Pharmacy. Of the meeting, he said, “Fewness of members should not deter pharmacists from associating. A dozen well-disposed men can accomplish wonders when enlisted in a common cause and animated by a single interest.”
During that initial meeting, the attendees discussed the accomplishments of the pharmacy profession over the past 150 years and looked at the history of pharmacy governance. They also discussed the creation of a headquarters, the future of pharmacotherapy, and the history of pharmacoeconomics. They officially established the American Pharmaceutical Association during that meeting.
The APhA, the first professional society of pharmacy in the US, would evolve in the coming years. It helped regulate the practice of dispensing medicine and encouraged pharmacists to develop close relationships with the doctors who prescribed the medicine. By the early 20th century, a series of laws were passed that helped to regulate the pharmaceutical field. In 1906, there was the Pure Food and Drug Act, protecting people from misbranded medications. And in 1938, there was the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which called on the FDA to require that new drugs be deemed safe before being marketed.
Today, the American Pharmacists Association, as it was renamed, has its headquarters on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and includes a membership of more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists and other pharmaceutical professionals. The APhA meets every year to discuss policies for their profession. And most other pharmacy organizations were created out of the APhA.
Death Of O. Henry
On June 5, 1910, American author O. Henry died in New York City.
The famed author was born William Sydney Porter on September 11, 1862, in Greensboro, North Carolina. He loved to read from an early age, with some of his favorites including One Thousand and One Nights and Anatomy of Melancholy.
Porter worked in his uncle’s drugstore as a teenager and was a licensed pharmacist by the time he was 19. Then in 1882, he moved to Texas where he worked as a shepherd, ranch-hand, cook, and babysitter. Porter worked several other odd jobs in the coming years, including draftsman, bank teller, and journalist. It was also during this time he began writing as a side job. Porter was a talented singer and musician as well and enjoyed singing and acting at town gatherings.
While working at the bank, Porter had founded a humorous newspaper, The Rolling Stone, which included satirical works on life, people, and politics. While the paper ultimately failed and closed in 1895, it got the attention of the Houston Post editor, who offered Porter a job. However, it turned out that when he was a banker, Porter was careless with his bookkeeping and may have embezzled money. He was soon arrested for embezzlement.
At the train station on his way to the courthouse for his trial, Porter decided to flee, first to New Orleans and then to Honduras. He spent about six months in Honduras, where he befriended notorious bank robber Al Jennings and wrote the book Cabbages and Kings that coined the term “banana republic.” However, when he learned his wife was dying, Porter returned home and surrendered to the court.
Porter was found guilty of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison. He worked as the night druggist and had his own room in the hospital wing. Porter also published several stories from prison under a variety of pseudonyms, though O. Henry became his most well known. He would send his stories to a friend in New Orleans who would then send them to the publishers, so they wouldn’t know the author was in prison.
Porter was released from prison after three years for good behavior. He moved to New York City in 1902, marking the start of the most creative and successful period of his career. He would write 381 short stories during this time, including one a week for over a year for the New York World Sunday Magazine. While the critics often gave him bad reviews, the public loved his stories, particularly his witty writing and exciting plot twists. One of his most popular works was “The Gift of the Magi,” a tender tale of a young couple who sell their most prized possessions to buy Christmas gifts for each other.
Struggling with alcoholism and other health issues, Porter died on June 5, 1910.
Click here to read some of Porter’s works (listed by category on the left-hand side of the page).