The cooperation between PAHO and the United States of America goes back to the founding of the Organization. The first General International Sanitary Convention of the American Republics, whose purpose was to assure effective cooperation in promoting health in the Americas, was held in Washington, DC, from 2 to 5 December 1902 with representatives of 11 countries present. These were the first steps towards the consolidation and creation of what was to become the oldest, continuously functioning international health agency in the world, The Pan American Sanitary Bureau (PASB). The first Chairman of the PASB was Dr. Walter Wyman, the surgeon general of the United States Public Health and Marine Hospital Service. This year PAHO celebrates 120 years of active work in the public health arena of the Americas.