As we celebrate our 75th anniversary this year, we’ve been reflecting on the College’s rich history. Since the College was founded in 1942, our Annual Scientific Meeting has always made strides to be the premier educational event in the allergy specialty. We wanted to look back at some of the highlights from our first thirty Annual Meetings – some are funny, others intriguing. We’re continuing to improve and expand our Annual Meeting every year, so make sure you join us this year, Oct. 26-30, in Boston! Registration opens in late July.
1st Annual Meeting, 1944, Chicago
The first annual meeting of the College was held at the Palmer House in Chicago. The dinner program for the first evening included a film titled “Symphony of the Seasons,” described as “an attempt to portray the Seasons as a symphony of color, which has been combined with appropriate music and depends upon this combination for its artistry.
The College’s Annual Meeting was covered in “The Talk of the Town” column in the New Yorker.
Dr. Bela Schick held a luncheon at the Annual Meeting on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the concept and science of allergy by Clemons von Pirquet. Dr. Schick’s remarks on the occasion included, “Allergy is our savior, for which we should be ever grateful to Nature.”
Registrations for the Annual Meeting in New York included 491 College members, 202 guest physicians, 48 other, and 289 exhibitors, for a total attendance of 1,030. In 2016 total attendance (without exhibitors) was 2,249.
27th Annual Meeting, 1971, San Francisco
A newsletter from the Annual Meeting, held in Las Vegas, included the following notes: “VAMPIRE: Coleman Harris had a vampire in his room (BAT, that is) so moved to Suite 1907 and “UNDERGROUND RUM RUNNING! Homer Prince got a jug of imported rum delivered to Las Vegas in this way: Jim Sutton got it in Mexico [and] delivered it to an associate in Tucson, who delivered it to Homer. Bill Browning has departed with what’s left of the jug with promises to deliver it to Waco. Wanna bet?”
The Annual Meeting included an exhibition of artwork done by members of the Women’s Auxiliary (and their husbands). Leona Hurst, one of the organizers of the event, contributed two paintings of clowns “because my husband loves them.”
30th Annual Meeting, 1974, Paris
Dr. Jonas Salk, the famed virologist who developed the first effective polio vaccine, gave a presentation titled “Is There a Need for Immunologic Adjuvants?” at the College’s Annual Meeting.
The College’s Annual Meeting was held in Paris. To date, it is the only time the meeting has been held internationally. The program included a visit to the Louvre and “a fashion show presented by one of the most renowned Parisian couturiers.”