Test Your Knowledge of NLM Presidential Trivia

As the nation prepares to celebrate Washington’s Birthday, NLM in Focus would like to share a few of NLM’s connections to five past presidents. Can you name the president for each challenge?

Who said this?

At the time of NLM’s sesquicentennial, this US president said:

“American citizens, for whom the health of their loved ones is always a primary concern, can take great pride in the National Library of Medicine, which takes life-giving knowledge from research, organizes it and transmits it to those who can best use it to fight disease and disability and to improve the quality of life for all of us.


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Who wrote this?

From an undated, signed letter on the occasion of the dedication of the new National Library of Medicine building on the NIH campus:

“The dedication of the new National Library of Medicine perpetuates a distinguished history extending back to the early days of our Nation. This enterprise has my congratulations and best wishes for a new era of outstanding service to medical research and the dissemination of medical knowledge throughout America and around the world.”


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Who signed this bill?

On August 3, 1956, this president signed a bill into law that moved the Armed Forces Medical Library under the Public Health Service and renamed it the National Library of Medicine.


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Who was this?

In the late 19th century, the Library’s vast collection, which was then under the control of the surgeon general of the Army, was housed in a very unlikely place: Ford’s Theatre.

But how did it come to that?

After the tragic assassination of this president, out of respect for the slain leader, citizens protested against further productions taking place at the theatre (and Mr. Ford received a threatening letter). The Federal government took over the property and converted it to military offices and the home of the Army’s medical records, museum, and—you guessed it—the Library.

Who was that president?


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Who tried to recommend a colleague for the post of Surgeon General?

At the time, this future president was serving as an army officer in the Revolutionary War. His one-page missive to a member of the Continental Congress asks for the representative’s support in the search for a new Surgeon General. The post had been vacant a while, leaving the health of the troops in jeopardy.

The officer suggests two men in particular for the position, one of whom, James Craik, later became his personal physician, tending him on his death bed.

Who wrote that letter?


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Learn more about the letter

By Kathryn McKay, NLM in Focus writer




The Answers

  2. Who wrote this? PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY
  3. Who signed this bill? PRESIDENT DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
  4. Who tried to recommend his personal physician for the post of Surgeon General? PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON

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