Friday / Weekend Open Lines

One of major league baseball’s most dramatic and poignant moments occurred on this date in 1938. That was when the New York Yankees’ famously durable first baseman Lou Gehrig removed himself from the lineup, breaking his streak of 2,130 consecutive games played; a record which would stand until 1995, and hasn’t otherwise been approached. Gehrig never played again, and was shortly diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a wasting, usually fatal disease, which in fact took his life in another two years, and to which, he gave its unofficial name. May is ALS Awareness Month, noting that 20,000 to 30,000 Americans are stricken with ALS, with some 5,000 new cases reported each year. Research into treatments and a cure for this scourge takes place in many of the nation’s 6,100 medical laboratories and 6,500 hospitals. Profile America is in its17th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.