After a presentation given by Dr. Charles H. Mayo in London, England, on Jul. 6, 1920,
news dispatches sent over the transatlantic cable reported that the younger of the
noted Mayo brothers had “astonished a select group of prominent British and American
scientists and officials” by predicting that future wars would be waged with “invisible
organisms.” Speaking at a dinner held in his honor, Dr. Charlie prophetically warned
that “it will be a war of dropping capsules of bacteria over cities that will have
the most destructive effects.” Dr. Charlie's startling remarks were quoted from a
review of medical science that he presented to about 100 dinner guests assembled in
London, most of whom were supporters of the establishment of an American hospital
there. In addition to the officers and governors of the hospital, those attending
the banquet included the earl of Reading, American ambassador John W. Davis, Sir William
Arbuthnot Lane (consulting surgeon of Guy's Hospital), and the Honorable Arthur J.
Balfour. Dr. Charlie and his brother, Dr. William J. Mayo, were members of the American
Medical Committee of the proposed hospital, and his presence and expression of support
were considered a major “boost” for its development. Supporters hoped that the proposed
facility would become the headquarters for visiting American physicians and surgeons.
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