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March of Dimes

  • Some of the first fundraisers to fight polio in North Dakota were birthday balls held in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was paralyzed from polio at age 39 and never again walked unaided. He became a leading force in the polio cause, and help found the March of Dimes.
  • In 1954, North Dakota and the rest of the nation were in the home stretch toward a safe and effective polio vaccine, but cases crept up that summer and fall, and polio fundraising drives sought money to help patients, who were mostly children. A survey found that Americans feared polio second only to the atomic bomb.
  • Yesterday we heard how the polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk’s team arrived in North Dakota. On this date in 1955, North Dakota held its first…
  • Back in the 50s, there was a terrible virus. Only the atomic bomb was feared more. Thousands of people fell ill. Many died. Children were especially vulnerable. And the public held out hope for a vaccine to conquer the disease.