First Veterinary Degree

Saturday, October 7 — “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” This quote is widely attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, but whatever the source, many people agree with the sentiment. One advance in such moral progress occurred on this date in 1868, when the first collegiate veterinary department in the nation began its instruction at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

The country’s first veterinary doctorate was awarded in 1876 to Daniel Salmon, best known as the discoverer of salmonella. Cornell also granted the first veterinary degree to an American woman, Florence Kimball.

Today, there are nearly 31,000 establishments providing veterinary services nationwide, and employment for 339,000 two-legged animals.

You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey.

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