It is a singular honor and a privilege to have been elected president of the venerable Western Surgical Association and to preside over its 83rd meeting. George Santayana1 stated: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." To avoid the disaster of delivering a presidential address that has already been given, I have perused all of the presidential addresses presented before the Western Surgical Association. This proved to be a very delightful self-assignment.
The Western Surgical Association was founded in 1891 as the Western Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. As I reviewed the presidential address of William M. Mills,2 our 54th president, I learned some very interesting things about the early years of our association. This organization was the brainchild of a gynecolosist, Milo B. Ward, of Topeka, Kan. At his invitation, 42 charter members appeared at the Copeland Hotel in Topeka in December of