On This Day, July 3, 1981 – AP Runs First Reports of AIDS


1981 – The Associated Press ran its first story about two rare illnesses afflicting homosexual men. One of the diseases was later named AIDS.

From 1981 through 1987, the average life expectancy for people diagnosed with AIDS was 18 months. The family members, loved ones, and health care professionals who witnessed, died, or survived the early years of the AIDS epidemic in the United States experienced an unimaginable holocaust. Hundreds of young people died each week. It was a time and system that lacked the medical, ethical, technical, and spiritual resources to soften the blow of so many young people dying of so mysterious an illness.

Since 1981 and as of January 2005, about 1.1 million HIV/AIDS cases had been diagnosed and reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), HIV infections are increasing more rapidly among women, who contract the virus primarily through unprotected sex with an infected male partner. In the United States, AIDS is the fourth leading cause of death for women between 25 and 44 years old. AIDS cases among women increased threefold from 1985 to 1996.

1608 – The city of Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain.

1775Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, MA.

1790 – In Paris, the marquis of Condorcet proposed granting civil rights to women.

1863 – The U.S. Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, PA, ended after three days. It was a major victory for the North as Confederate troops retreated.

1878 – John Wise flew the first dirigible in Lancaster, PA.

1880 – “Science” began publication. Thomas Edison had provided the principle funding.

1890Idaho became the 43rd state to join the United States of America.

1898 – During the Spanish American War, a fleet of Spanish ships in Cuba’s Santiago Harbor attempted to run a blockade of U.S. naval forces. Nearly all of the Spanish ships were destroyed in the battle that followed. 

1903 – The first cable across the Pacific Ocean was spliced between Honolulu, Midway, Guam and Manila.

1912 – Rube Marquard of the New York Giants set a baseball pitching record when earned his 19th consecutive win.

1922 – “Fruit Garden and Home” magazine was introduced. It was later renamed “Better Homes and Gardens.”

1924 – Clarence Birdseye founded the General Seafood Corp.

1930Congress created the U.S. Veterans Administration. 

1934The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) made its first payment to Lydia Losiger.

1939 – Chic Young’s comic strip character, “Blondie” was first heard on CBS radio.

1940 – Bud Abbott and Lou Costello debuted on NBC radio.1944 – The U.S. First Army opened a general offensive to break out of the hedgerow area of Normandy, France.

1954 – Food rationing ended in Great Britain almost nine years after the end of World War II.

1962 – Jackie Robinson became the first African American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.


Source: On-This-Day.com; Healthcommunities.com