Wednesday Open Line

Early America certainly was a simpler society than that which we have today, but some of today’s familiar institutions were part of the national experience over 200 years ago. On this date in 1795, the city of Baltimore set up a permanent, elected board of health, successor to the nation’s first such appointed agency. The first board was created by Maryland’s governor to cope with yellow fever epidemics beginning in 1792. At one point the city of Baltimore quarantined or turned away travelers fleeing hard-hit Philadelphia. Board of health or no, Baltimore was affected in 1794, and hundreds died as a result. Local governments across the country employ nearly 220,000 full-time and 56,000 part-time workers in health services, exclusive of hospital staffs. You can find current data on the country’s economy by downloading the new “America’s Economy” mobile application at <>.