On this day: Remembering Dr. Norman Borlaug

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2006_Norman_Borlaug_Congressional_Gold_Medal_frontThe NYTimes e-mail edition always ends with a nostalgia-anniversary item: On This Day ¦ Yesterday, the remembrance read thusly:


On October 5, 1947, in the first televised White House address, President Truman asked Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on Thursdays to help stockpile grain for starving people in Europe.

ACSH s Dr. Gil Ross had these thoughts: Those of us alive back then (OK, I was 2 months old) recall being instructed by our moms, Eat all your vegetables...people in Europe are starving! In the 1950s, it became ....people in China/India are starving! However, by the 1960s, South Asia had become net grain exporters, and starvation there (as well as in Latin America) had largely become the stuff of nightmarish memories. To a great extent, this miracle was due to Dr. Norman Borlaug, whose agronomic breeding research has been reliably credited with saving perhaps one billion lives, and won him a well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. We here at ACSH are justly proud that, along with our recently-departed president, Dr. Beth Whelan, and a few others, Norman helped to found ACSH in 1978 and remained a devoted friend and resource for us and for public health until his passing at age 95 in 2009.