The first Doctors Day was observed on March 30, 1933 in Winder, Georgia. The wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond (Eudora Brown Almond) decided to set aside a day to honor doctors. This included mailing greeting cards and placing flowers on graves of deceased doctors. National Doctors Day began in 1933 as a local commemoration in Barrow County, Georgia, to celebrate the date on which Dr. Crawford W. Long managed the primary ether sedative for surgery on March 30, 1842. The date for National Doctors Day is the anniversary of the first use of general anesthetic in surgery, as on March 30, 1842 Dr. Long used ether to remove a tumor from a patient’s neck. The red carnation is commonly used as the symbolic flower for National Doctors Day, for the reason that it signifies the qualities of sacrifice, charity, courage, bravery and love.
On March 30, 1958, a Resolution Commemorating Doctors Day was adopted by the United States House of Representatives. In 1990, legislation was introduced in the House and Senate to establish a national Doctors Day. Following overwhelming approval by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, on October 30, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed S.J. RES # 366 (which became Public Law 101-473) designating March 30 as “National Doctors Day.”