John H.T. McPherson, Jr. letter describing the treatment of Cocoanut Grove fire victims at Boston City Hospital
Letter dated 30 November 1942 from John H.T. McPherson, Jr. to friends and family describing treatment of burn victims at Boston City Hospital in the aftermath of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire on November 28, 1942. 2 pages, typescript.
- 30 November 1942
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Extent0.01 cubic feet (1 file folder) ; 8.5" x 11"
John H.T. McPherson, Jr (1917-2001) was a surgeon who attended and graduated from Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts in 1942. McPherson served as a member of the 5th General Hospital Group during World War II and returned to complete his surgical training at Boston City Hospital. McPherson was a surgical resident on duty at the Boston City Hospital November 28, 1942, when a fire broke out at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub. The Cocoanut Grove fire, located in the Bay Village neighborhood of Boston, was the deadliest nightclub fire in the United States resulting in 492 deaths. Local hospitals were well equipped to deal with this mass casualty event due to World War II emergency drills and treatment conducted on Cocoanut Grove victims significantly advanced medical understanding and methodology of burn treatment.
McPherson returned to Athens, Georgia in 1950 and worked in the Clarke County Hospital Authority and the Athens Regional Medical Center as a general, trauma, and orthopedic surgeon. A 1940 census identified him as white, he married Helen Fleming Cabaniss and had one child.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gifted to the Harvard Medical Library by Helen McPherson Costantino and Margerat McPherson Smith in 2016 (Accession #2016-125).
Processed by Marco Lanier in November 2022. Collection was processed according to Level 1 protocol.
- McPherson, John H.T., Jr. (1917-2001). Letter describing the treatment of Cocoanut Grove fire victims at Boston City Hospital, 30 November 1942: Finding Aid.
- Marco Lanier
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