Did you know that Oct. 15 is Global Handwashing Day?

Hand-washing is a vital public and personal health activity and one that grew up alongside germ theory in the late 1800s. The University of Virginia Historical Collections at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library has a terrific online exhibit, “Coming Clean; Hand Washing and Public Health.” Over its many years on television, Sesame Street has presented the hand washing message in skits and songs. One of my old favorites is here.

One hundred years ago British Nurse Edith Cavell was executed for aiding Allied soldiers during World War I. This post, by historian Vanessa Heggie, explains Cavell’s work as a nurse and a spy. A 1920 silent video of the unveiling of the Cavell memorial in London can be found here.

Yes, the Democratic candidates for president had their turn on the debate stage the other day. Public health issues came up – surprise! – in many of the questions and answers: gun control legislation, veterans medical benefits, climate change, extending the Affordable Care Act to immigrants, pharmaceutical pricing, and marijuana (medical and recreational).

Not all of the candidates got to weigh in on every issue. But three of them – Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Martin O’Malley – voiced support for paid family leave. The full debate transcript is here. If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, a two-minute video capturing the best moments is here.

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