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  • 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.
  • When the Salk polio vaccine rolled out in North Dakota in 1955, children ages 5 to 9 and pregnant women were given top priority. Parents welcomed the vaccine with open arms. Polio could paralyze and even kill, and young children were the most vulnerable. The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which led the March of Dimes for vaccine research and patient care, provided the vaccine free of charge for first- and second-graders. Salk’s vaccine came in a series of three shots. By the end of 1955, 59 percent of those children in North Dakota were vaccinated. None contracted polio.
  • Ask anyone old enough to remember the polio years, and they will probably recall waiting in line to take a vaccine on a sugar cube. Dr. Jonas Salk gets a lot of credit for developing a vaccine to defeat polio, but this oral vaccine came out years afterward, developed by his rival, Dr. Albert Sabin.
  • Before a vaccine, polio created a fear for Americans that was second only to the atomic bomb. Polio could paralyze and even kill. And little could be done for patients. The mysterious illness struck especially hard in summertime, and the extent of the outbreaks varied. Children were the most susceptible.
  • 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.
  • Last month we heard about the triumph of the Salk polio vaccine. Polio was a dreaded disease that could paralyze and even kill, and children were the most vulnerable. Before a vaccine, little could be done.
  • Polio vaccinations were in full swing in the summer of 1955 in North Dakota. A team led by Dr. Jonas Salk at the University of Pittsburgh developed the vaccine after years of philanthropy through the March of Dimes. Polio was the most dreaded disease of its time, and could paralyze and even kill children. The public welcomed Salk’s vaccine with open arms.
  • 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.
  • Polio was a crippling and deadly infectious disease that ravaged families and communities in the first half of the 20th Century as these first-hand…