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the student programs.
I think it would be a good idea to have a statement from the group that is officially connected with this movement.
Mr. GREENWOOD. If I may make my statement, I will do so, and then if additional information is desired, I will get it for you. I have sindicating) a letter from the Indiana State Board of Health. It says:
INDIANA STATE BOARD OF HEALTH,
Indianapolis, February 15, 1928. Hon. ARTHUR H. GREENWOOD),
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. GREENWOOD: It has come to my attention that you have introduced a bill in the House of Representatives proposing to make May day national child health day, and that you would like to know something of the nature of the celebration of child health day in Indiana.
I am inclosing marked copies of the Indiana State Board of Health Monthly Bulletin, in which you will find suggestions for programs sent out by this office for last year's celebration and an account of the activities reported to us from some of the larger Indiana cities and towns. I am also sending a typed copy of last year's report which gives more detailed programs, quotations from local newspapers, etc. In the January, 1928, bulletin, you will find a brief preliminary announcement of the plans for this year.
Undoubtedly, national recognition would give the day a greater importance in the eyes of both children and adults and would bring it much more forcibly to the attention of every citizen of the United States. It would focus the minds of all citizens on the needs of the child, on the highest standards of physical, mental, and spiritual health, on the latest discoveries in the scientific world which may be applied to child betterment. It would become more truly a day of rejoicing in achievement and of inspiration for future efforts on the part of all who are working toward child health improvement.
For these reasons, I wish to commend your action in introducing this bill and to say that I feel sure it will meet with the approval of all persons who believe that the health of our children is our greatest national asset. Very cordially yours,
ADA E. SCHWEITZE, M. D. Mr. GREENWOOD. There is nothing compulsory about this. For instance, where a State has some other day for this observance, it is at liberty to select any other day. However, several States do already observe May 1. As I have said, the passage of this resolution would put the influence of the Federal Government behind this laudable movement at a time of the year when it has been found to be very effective. Most of the contagious diseases and the breaking down of the body occur throughout the winter months and the spring is a time of newness of life and renewed enthusiasm, when children commence to get out into the open and enjoy games. This resolution offers an opportunity to make an impression upon the communities and the children, including the parents, as well as church, school, and civic authorities and get them behind this desirable movement. The movement is already a success in some of the States, as I have pointed out. I do not have in mind the forcing of any program upon any State. This resolution does not carry a fixed program, but it would confer the influence and prestige of the Federal Government upon the movement, and, as a cooperative effort, the chances for a complete success would be enhanced.
* Mr. Douglas. How many States, if you know, have taken this matter up?
Mr. GREENWOOD. I can't give you the number, but I do know that there are several.
Mr. TARVER. Were any hearings had before the Senate Committee that reported this bill favorably?
Mr. GREENWOOD. There was a brief report made by the Senate committee. I do know that.
The CHAIRMAN. I have in hand a copy of Report No. 671 on Senate Joint Resolution 89, and it says:
The resolution has the support of practically every national organization, including the Child Health Association, the American Federation of Labor, the Federation of Women's Clubs, League of Women Voters, Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, American Legion, National Catholic Welfare Council, Parent Teachers' Association, the State boards of health, and many others.
May 1 is celebrated in many States now as child health day. The intention of this resolution is to focus the attention of the Nation on May 1, on the necessity of preserving the health of the children. With the President leading the cause through his proclamation it is felt great encouragement will be given. The resolution does not provide for any appropriation and no
appropriation is requested.
Therefore it evidently has quite general support.
Mr. GREENWOOD. The American Child Health Association has issued a booklet called "The Goal of May Day," and I will read some excerpts from it. It says:
May Day as child health day holds within it the power of a great vision. Its goal is to focus the interest of the Nation upon perfect childhood—with the hope of a start in life free, sound and richly potential for every child.
This day has been given to the country to become, like the Maypole, a central rallying point for all the diverse activities concerned with the welfare of children, which, combining, will help to clear the pathway toward the goal of May Day.
Inaugurated in 1924 under the auspices of the American Child Health Association, as a revival of the traditional festival day, May Day has rapidly expanded in meaning and in forms of expression. Celebrated from the first as a day calling attention to the right of every child to joyous, positive health, it has become in the four years since its inauguration less a one-day festivity than a stimulus and adjunct to the permanent work of communities in building results into the lives of children. And the interpretation of health has enlarged to the sense of health as wholeness, the child being considered in his complete unity-physical, mental, and spiritual.
In every community where it is celebrated, May Day tells the story of what is happening through the 364 other days of the year. It looks backward and forward. It takes inventory of achievements, challenges the weak spots in the protective, educational, recreational, and social machinery of a community, applauds successes, makes comparisons between communities, to the end that the lives of children may be more wisely tended, healthier, and happier.
The power which has been stimulated through May Day is being utilized to vitalize and reenforce the public health machinery in the country, to evaluate and to interpret to communities their resources which affect the health and happiness of their children, to weave scattered efforts into a common pattern, May Day has no formal program.
It is an instrument in the hands of every group official and nonofficial.
It is used by the public health boards, State and local, by the schools, by the Department of Agriculture, by the great lay organizations of the country, by the churches, and by commercial groups, each coloring it with its own interpretation and using it according to its needs.
Thus it serves to pool endeavors which never in any other way come together. Its picturesque, dramatic appeal breaks through all barriers and serves as a solvent uniting all in a common interest in the child. The power of this merged interest, looking to a common end, is incalculable.
Like the sunlit maypole, May Day holds aloft the dauntless hope that a nation, centering its most vital interests upon and using its richest resources for the betterment of children, may move forward in a progress hitherto unmeasured and unimagined.
The United States being the last great pioneer country and the richest in natural resources and opportunity per capita of any country on the globe, should likewise be the richest in human resources, with the soundest and most vigorous
stock of any nation. Such facts as these prod to inquiry and to greater protective measures:
Mothers in the United States undergo greater risks in childbirth than European mothers. We lose annually in childbirth about 18,000 young mothers—the most valuable citizens in the nation, because they are the essential guardians of the new generation.
We also reap as an immediate result of childbirth an annual crop of about 100,000 infants who never draw breath. The stillbirth rate in 1924 was 3.9 per 100 live births for the total population.
Where the deaths of infants from such cause as diarrhea and enteritis, leading cause of mortality, have decreased in the past few years more than 50 per cent, those from congenital malformation and premature birth have declined but slightly, and deaths from injuries at birth have increased.
The hope that inspires May Day says that such facts can be changed.
The experiment of the Maternity Center Association in a restricted area in New York City has shown that maternal deaths can be cut in half by adequate prenatal care and that stillbirths and infant deaths in the first week of life can be reduced two-thirds. This association recently handled 2,000 maternity cases without a single death. In the same number of cases in the city of New York at large, according to the figures, there would have been 11 deaths.
In Detroit for the period 1922–1924 in seven prenatal clinics the mortality among mothers was 3.5 per 1,000 confinements, where the city as a whole showed a mortality of 6.75. The average number of stillbirths per 1,000 living births in the same period for patients receiving care in the clinics was 36, where the city had an average of 52 per 1,000 live births.
Infants in the United States have more favorable chances for survival than infants in many European countries, and those chances are steadily improving.
The hope that inspires May Day, however, shows that these chances can be greatly increased. The infant-mortality rate in the United States, which in 1915 was 100, in 1925 was 71.5. But in 1926, 71 cities in the birth-registration area had an infant-mortality rate between 100 and 150 where 53 cities had reduced that rate to between 30 and 50.
That means an inequality between our different cities within this one country as great as that between the most progressive and the least progressive nations. It calls for a leveling of protective and educational measures which May Day can stimulate.
In the period between infancy and school age is an important zone where neglect is yielding a harvest of casualties which mar and handicap children for life. Also, in that zone lie the richest possibilities to educate and lay foundations of health and happiness for the future. One-twentieth of all deaths lie in this period. About 50 per cent of all deaths in this period result from diphtheria. One-third of all cripples receive the injuries which handicap them for life within this period. A large proportion of the blindness, deafness, and defective speech is discoverable in these years.
This is a period for immunization against contagious disease, for elimination of handicaps, for establishing wholesome physical, mental, and emotional habits.
Dr. Louis I. Dublin, statistician, says: "Between the ages of 5 and 9 the mortality has declined from 5.1 in 1900 to 2.1 per 1,000 population in 1925. This can be reduced to 1 death per 1,000, or more than cut in half.
“Between 10 and 14 years the mortality has declined from a little over 3 per 1,000 in 1900 to a little under 2 per 1,000 in 1925, and this also can be reduced to 1 death per 1,000 living at those ages.
“Diphtheria, the leading cause of death for this age group, is preventable. Many United States cities have demonstrated this.
Auburn, N. Y., has not had a death from diphtheria since March, 1924-a three-year period—as a result of immunization of a large part of the child population.
“New Haven, Conn., had no diphtheria deaths among its entire school population in 1926. The cases of diphtheria which occurred were among children who had not been immunized against diphtheria."
May Day by centering attention upon the facts given here and encouraging the means of improving them is helping to bring about more hopeful aspects of child life, resulting in a larger sum total of happiness, well-being, and potential life and energy throughout the country.
Mr. GREENWOOD. That will give you an idea of what is being done and what is in mind. In some places they have clinics for
the children. In other places the newspapers give free advertising space to information of a beneficial character to childhood. Then there are radio talks concerning health. This would fix the attention of the Nation upon May 1, say, as the time to pursue some line of educational activity in connection with child health and motherhood.
Mr. FLETCHER. There is no effort to designate any treatment, or anything of that sort?
Mr. GREENWOOD. No. The idea is to get the influence of the Federal Government back of this movement and to coordinate the movement and give it a stronger momentum.
The American Federation of Labor is behind this resolution, as it is always behind any movement that looks to the welfare of the working class and especially childhood and these other organizations mentioned by the chairman are behind it.
Mr. FLETCHER. I do not want to be misunderstood as being opposed to the idea you have in mind. My thought is that perhaps there might be a duplication of something that is now being done.
Mr. GREENWOOD. I understand your position. This is an effort to coordinate what is being done and to get additional momentum behind the movement.
I don't believe there is anything further I have to say.
The CHAIRMAN. We thank you very much for your statement, Mr. Greenwood.
We have with us this morning Mr. William C. Hushing, legislative representative of the American Federation of Labor, Washington, D. C., who will speak to us about this matter.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM C. HUSHING, LEGISLATIVE REPRE
SENTATIVE OF THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. HUSHING. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, the first thing I would like to suggest in connection with the pending House Joint Resolution 184 is that section 2, page 2, line 10, be amended by striking out the words "May Day.
The CHAIRMAN. We had intended to do that.
Mr. HUSHING. The American Federation of Labor has always stood for everything that would benefit children. We have constantly tried to increase the earnings of the parents so that they may be better able to take care of their children in the manner they should be taken care of.
As is generally known, the American Federation of Labor has also always advocated free schools, good schools, and compulsory education.
We are of the opinion that if this resolution should be enacted into law, it would very much promote the health of children. This resolution would, as has been suggested, coordinate this important movement and would add to the effort the great weight and prestige of the Federal Government. I want to read to you the report of the executive council to the American Federation of Labor convention, 1927. Quoting this action from "The goal of May Day," it says:
HEALTH FOR LABOR'S CHILDREN What are labor leaders doing for the health of children? How can they further a community child health program?
These two questions are best answered by a statement of what happened at the convention in Los Angeles, October 3-14, 1927, of the American Federation of Labor. The convention directed the executive council to have a resolution introduced in Congress setting aside May 1 as child health day.
The words of the resolution stir us not only by the action which they propose for the great benefit of every child in the country but also by the attitude of this great labor group toward child health. We quote the resolution:
CHILD HEALTH DAY
“One of the prominent activities of the American Federation of Labor has been to create conditions that would conserve the physical and mental health of the children of our Nation.
“Labor made the first organized attempt for compulsory education laws and the enactment of laws that would prohibit the labor of children in gainful occupations. The object of this was to protect them from exploitation and at the same time permit them to obtain an education.
“For a number of years child-loving citizens have formed organizations to stimulate sentiment that would awaken our people to the necessity for a yearround crusade for the physical and mental advancement of children. In order to attract nation-wide attention to this worthy crusade it has been suggested that May 1 be declared child health day.
“The executive council is in hearty sympathy with this movement and urges this convention to take appropriate action for the establishment of child health day.
"To this end a joint resolution should be presented in Congress similar to that which created mother's day. The State legislatures should also be asked to approve of May 1 as child health day.
The report of the committee was adopted unanimously.
Mr. HUSHING. I would like to say that in the schools of the District of Columbia special health demonstrations and radio talks concerning child health have been of inestimable value.
We are very anxious to see this resolution pass. It passed the Senate on April 3, and we hope this committee will give it favorable consideration.
I thank you for your kindness in hearing me.
Mr. GREENWOOD. Doubtless the committee appreciates the fact that this resolution would not create a public holiday.
Mr. FLETCHER. The schools would not be dismissed for the day?
Mr. GREENWOOD. No. The schools would remain in session, and they would display the American flag. The governors and mayors would doubtless issue proclamations calling attention to the day and its significance.
Mr. FLETCHER. But it is a duplication of November 5, which has already been designated.
Mr. GREENWOOD. It is not necessarily designated. This is an attempt to coordinate activities and to settle upon some particular day.
I have an article that I will now insert in the record.
CHILD HEALTH DAY IN INDIANA
(By Ada E. Schweitzer, M. D.) The advent of May is in itself a joyous occasion. The annual harvest promise of this month of blossoms has long been the theme of poets. It is especially fitting that May 1 be set aside by the Nation as a day of joy in health of little