UNITED STATES—This month is American Heart Month! Over 67 million Americans have high blood pressure, and after learning the history of this organization, I cannot imagine how many more there would be if not for their efforts.

The life-saving Heart Association began in New York in 1915, and was originally called The Association for the Prevention and Relief of Heart Disease. The first matter of business for the group of concerned professionals was to combine the knowledge from many different specialists that were working on a cure for heart disease. It was believed that a human had no other choice but to stay in bed, after a heart attack.

The collaboration of great minds back then was NOT an easy task! Let’s remember that 1915 was when the first transcontinental call was made from Alexander Graham Bell in New York, to Thomas Watson in California.

1924 – six founding members formed the “American Heart Association” (AHA).

1925 – organize annual “Scientific Sessions” later to become the largest international cardiovascular meeting.

1947 – organize the first National Heart Week!

1948 – awarded their first research grant to Nobel prize winner Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi.

1950 – first Journal of the American Heart Association.

1956 – begin researching the link between smoking and heart disease.

1956 – restart a heart with the use of a defibrillator.

1960 – first implanted pacemaker!

1961 – AHA teaches the world about CPR, a technique that “can double or triple chances of survival.”

1969 – push legislation to stop advertising cigarettes on TV, successfully!

1970 – first anti-smoking Public Service Announcement (PSA).

1973 – first AHA healthy cookbook.

1981 – for the first time (since 1949) deaths from heart-related causes drop to less than 50%.

1988 – push legislation to stop smoking on planes, successfully!

1992 – first nationwide Heart Walk!

1994 – push for the Healthy Americans Act.

1997 – forms American Stroke Association.

2004 – Go Red For Women begins.

2007 – Mission Lifeline begins.

2008 – campaign to teach hands-only CPR begins.

2013 – genome – phenome cardiovascular study begins.

There were a LOT of landmark dates and noteworthy researchers that I did not include in the above list. This organization has contributed to so many great causes, and I had no clue until binge reading and watching these vintage PSA’s. I never knew there was a link between strep throat, rheumatic fever, and heart disease.


 Want to take a trip down memory lane? Click here for a playlist of 35 vintage AHA PSAs! Or, watch a more modern AHA PSA below!

Hopefully in the future the AHA tackles the problem with obtaining healthy food as it is NO DOUBT a big factor in the way children eat.

We have people thinking they are doing good by INFORMING poor parents to feed our children healthy, but the fact is that here in NY I can buy 5 bags of potato chips for the same cost as a bag of oranges. I can buy MORE THAN 200 oz of soda for the same price as 64 oz of juice, and at this point generic soda and water are nearly the same price.

Just to add insult to injury, for the parents WHO DO teach their children to eat healthy, SOME OF THE SCHOOLS provide food is the furthest thing from healthy with my children complaining of rotten cottage cheese, wilted vegetables, and moldy bread and bagels. The people with blogs that are putting out photos of prison vs school food are not making this stuff up.

To learn more about the many invaluable researchers and projects I did not mention, click here for an American Heart Association timeline slideshow! Or click here to visit them on FACEBOOK!