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January 18 in Scottish History

18 January 1782 marks the death of Sir John Pringle, President of the Royal Society, 1772-1778, and physician to King George III. A sanitary pioneer, he is sometimes called the "father of modern military medicine". In his 1752 paper, 'Observations on Diseases of the Army', he emphasised the need to adopt a clean medical environment for the treatment of wounded soldiers. The work is now regarded as a medical classic. His 1753 paper to the Society on septic and antiseptic substances also proved to be a pioneering work. Pringle also coined the term, 'influenza'.

Today in 1976 witnessed the launch of the Scottish Labour Party. The inaugural meeting of the breakaway party was held in Glasgow. It was formed as a result of the dissatisfaction several Labour MPs felt with their party over its stance on devolution for Scotland.