Polio Vaccines



On this day in 1954, children from Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania received the first polio vaccine.  Today, the reappearance of measles remind us of the high stakes involved in the vaccination debate. The Library of Congress holdings reflect the extraordinary importance of the polio vaccine.  See touching stories and public service films from the 1950s/60s linked in the Library blog - When Polio was Defeated by a Vaccine and a Seven Year Old Girl:  http://blogs.loc.gov/now-see-hear/2014/10/when-polio-was-defeated-by-a-vaccine-and-a-seven-year-old-girl/
A WPA poster from  the late 1930s testifies to societal fears of polio and the hope that it would be eradicated one day. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/98514345/

Students who happily have no knowledge of polio may get a glimpse of the devastation it wrought when they see this picture of an iron lung used to breathe by polio victims until 1955. 
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010637071/

For legislation and visuals relating to Dr. Jonas Salk and the development of the polio vaccine, see http://www.loc.gov/search/?in=&q=Jonas+Salk&new=true&st=

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History has a wonderful exhibit entitled Whatever Happened to Polio - http://amhistory.si.edu/polio/
Find the site by searching the comprehensive Library of Congress Teacher Page for additional resources:  http://www.loc.gov/teachers/additionalresources/relatedresources/ushist/chrono/postwar.html