Etan Patz, a 6 year old boy, disappeared while on his way to a school bus back in May, 1979 and no one has seen him since. The young boys case affected parents all across the Nation. Causing more protectiveness in communities that naturally would let their kids roam the neighborhood freely without any worries. Several years after he disappeared, Patz became one of the first children to be profiled on the "photo on a milk carton" campaigns of the early 1980's. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated May 25, the anniversary of Etan's disappearance as National Missing Children's Day in the United States.
By March 1985, 700 of 1600 independent dairies in the United States had adopted the practice of publishing photos of missing children on milk cartons. Etan Patz was one of the first missing children, and perhaps the most famous of them, to be sought with this strategy. Beginning in the early 1980's, advertisements on milk cartons in the United States were used to publicize cases of missing children. The printing of such ads continued until the late 90's when other programs became more popular for serving the same purpose. By putting these Ads of missing children on milk cartons, it assured that families throughout the country would become aware of the dangers that sat right outside of their homes. Although kids on milk cartons was a short lived idea, it built a long-term awareness that is still in use today.
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